PHE have found over 6.3 million adults (41%) aged 40 to 60 do not achieve 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking over the course of a month. The health body also discovered people in the UK are 20% less active now than they were in the 1960s and on average walk 15 miles less a year than 2 decades ago. They described this as a ‘physical inactivity epidemic’.
Jason Torrance, England policy director at Sustrans, a walking and cycling charity, welcomed the PHE’s report as ‘a much-needed call to action’ for Government to prioritise investment in cycling and walking. Mr Torrance said this would help build support for Local Authorities ‘who urgently need to put in place solutions to tackle the inactivity crisis. Increasing investment in cycling and walking that helps local authorities deliver the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy must be a priority for Government,’ he continued. ‘Liveable neighbourhoods with proper cycling and walking infrastructure will enable people to embed walking and cycling into their everyday routine and help fight the physical inactivity epidemic this country currently faces.’
PHE have launched a new physical activity campaign called One You in order to encourage adults to build 10 minutes continuous brisk walking into their day as a simple way to improve their health. This includes a new Active 10 app which allows the user to see how much brisk walking they are doing each day.
Local Authorities need to tackle inactivity epidemic
The current ‘physical inactivity epidemic’ — as the PHE describes it — among adults contributes to one in six deaths in the UK and is costing the NHS over £0.9bn per year. Taking at least one brisk 10 minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%. It can also lead to health benefits including a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes (by 40%), cardiovascular disease (by 35%), dementia (by 30%) and some cancers (by 20%).
From a business perspective, we at Human2Human believe that to put wellbeing firmly on the business agenda, we need to change conversations around the business case for wellbeing programs from ‘cost avoidance’ to ‘shared value creation’ and highlight what organisations stand to gain, rather than lose.
Human2Human believe that an effective employee well-being programme should be at the core of how an organisation fulfils its mission and carries out its operations and not consist of one-off initiatives. It is about changing the way business is done. As well as benefiting employees, an integrated approach to health and well-being can nurture heightened levels of employee engagement, and foster a workforce where people are committed to achieving organisational success.
To truly achieve a healthy workplace an employer needs to ensure that its culture, leadership and people management are the bedrock on which to build a fully integrated well-being approach. Using a bespoke program including all aspects of physical and emotional wellbeing techniques, we can work with you to achieve real savings in costs and increases in productivity.
To talk more about Local Authorities need to tackle inactivity epidemic and wellness in general, and what makes Human2Human Consulting different, please click here or email us and let’s chat. We know how to use data so if you aren’t so sure, then let us help.