Physical activity

Physical activity refers to all movement including during leisure time, for transport to get to and from places, or as part of a person’s work. Both moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity improves health. National guidelines state that for good physical and mental health, everyone should aim to be physically active every day.

Regular physical activity provides a range of physical and mental health, and social benefits. It’s recognised that regular physical activity has numerous health benefits including  reducing the risk of many preventable diseases, from cancer to diabetes, and conditions like obesity and depression. Other benefits of being active  include improved sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, stress management and improved overall quality of life. Physical inactivity, however, is a major contributor to excess weight and has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Physical inactivity is responsible for 1 in 6 (17%) of deaths in the UK. This makes it as dangerous as smoking.

It is estimated to cost the UK £7.4bn each year as a result of the cumulative impact of several factors on the NHS, social care and absenteeism. Associated cost and lack of time are the most common reasons for people not engaged in physical activity. Active travel, defined as ‘walking or cycling as an alternative to motorised transport for the purpose of making every day journeys’ has been recognised as one of the easiest and most acceptable ways in which physical activity can be incorporated into daily life.

Below you can find a number of documents identifying the local population needs. Please note that this list will be updated as and when the new information becomes available.

Hackney and the City of London reports

Other local strategies and plans

External resources

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