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- 08 April 2014 00:00
- in Government
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- Last Modified: 14 April 2014 11:02
A major new report launched by the high-profile All-Party Commission on Physical Activity has called for a cross-sector, cross-departmental National Action Plan as one of its key recommendations to help tackle the growing inactivity epidemic that costs the UK economy £20 billion per year.
The Commission was set-up in October 2013 and is headed by four Co-Chairs who are Crossbench peer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie, Labour MP Barbara Keeley and Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert.
The report has been co-authored by the four Co-Chairs while it is the first of two reports from Commission that offers recommendations and solutions designed to address the physical inactivity epidemic.
The creation of a National Action Plan – that is supported by the leaders of all three major political parties – is called for by the Commission; who stress that the plan must be reviewed every year and reassessed every five years to align against its goals and objectives.
The Commission also states that an independent body is needed to have oversight and ensure accountability for progress on development and implementation of the National Action Plan at both a national and local level.
A number of key figures involved in creating the report, including the Prime Minister’s Olympic Legacy Ambassador Lord Sebastian Coe, have delivered a copy of it to the three main parties at 10 Downing Street, where they have also discussed the urgent need to address the crisis through a collaborative, cross-party approach.
"Not many people are aware that physical inactivity currently accounts for nearly one-fifth of premature deaths in the UK,” said Lord Coe.
"With projections showing that inactivity levels are due to increase by a further 15% by 2030 there is no doubt that the issue requires immediate national attention and urgent action.
"The report from the All-Party Commission on Physical Activity represents a true shift in how Governments, NGBs, corporations and the civil sector can work together in shaping the world’s perception of sport and physical activity.”
As well as calling for a National Action Plan, the report calls for a public health campaign focused on the benefits of physical activity to raise awareness of the issue and recommends that children are given early access to positive experiences in sports, physical education and active play so that physical activity is made a lifelong habit for them.
It also calls for progress to be tracked through the creation of a standardised measure of physical activity across the UK and standardised evaluation of investments.
"The threat that obesity poses to our society cannot be under-estimated,” said Commission Co-Chair Baroness Tanni.
"I am delighted that the different sectors who can effect a change in this area have come together to give evidence, and with their guidance I hope that we can raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and start work on helping to eradicate the obesity epidemic.”
The first report from the Commission has been supported by a powerful coalition of multi-sector organisations including British Heart Foundation, Lawn Tennis Association, Sustrans, Nike, Premier League and The Young Foundation.
The view the report in full, Click Here