Chris Lowes, Head of Oxford United in the Community, discusses the barriers which prevent people from leading an active life – and what’s being done to remove them
Physical activity and exercise are the miracle cures proven to significantly reduce the risk of major illnesses, combat loneliness and boost our overall mental and physical wellbeing.
The Chief Medical Officer recommends adults partake in 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every week to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Assuming the average person is awake for 16 hours each day, 150 minutes represents 0.2% of the total time we can be productive in a seven-day period.
With the above in mind, it would be easy to assume the overwhelming majority of people living in England comfortably meet the current guidelines concerning our physical activity levels. But you’d be wrong.
The very latest Sport England data states only 63.1% (29.1 million) of the population average 150 minutes or more exercise, and over one-quarter (25.8%) average fewer than half-an-hour each week. Closer to home in Oxfordshire, 49% of our county’s children are not doing enough activity to protect their health and wellbeing1 and one in three Year Six pupils are now overweight or obese2.
Data of this kind coupled with provision gaps in priority neighbourhoods locally prompted Active Oxfordshire to launch ‘Oxfordshire on the Move’ in February. The countywide movement has established a support network of 110 organisations with a view to harnessing the power of physical activity to tackle Oxfordshire’s wider social issues.
Since its launch, our team at Oxford United in the Community has been proud to support the campaign in achieving its four key objectives through our work on the ground and by attending various events and workshops.
Read this month’s full Community Column in the Oxford Mail by clicking here!
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