Levels of physical activity in the UK are in decline and sedentary lifestyles are increasingly becoming the norm. We face an epidemic of inactivity that is costing a fortune and threatens the health and wellbeing of millions. Inactivity constitutes a major public health threat, increasing the risks of chronic disease and disability. This not only causes serious and unnecessary suffering and impairs quality of life, but also comes at a significant economic cost. The direct costs to the NHS and indirect costs to society as a result of inactivity total more than ��8 billion each year. In a time of budget cuts, investing in physical activity is smart public policy.

This report looks at participation in sport and physical activity in England, focusing particularly on young people. We look at the reasons why levels of participation are low and provide a four-point action plan to get more people active. The philosophy of sports policy remains embedded in supporting elite and competitive sports. It does nothing ange the overly complex way sport is organised and will continue to fund the organisations that have failed to increase levels of participation in the past. In order to achieve lasting change we propose some more radical solutions.

Families & Youth Health & wellbeing

Posted on: 1 October 2012 Authors: Will Norman,

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