PHE has launched a new framework designed to tackle what they call a 'national epidemic' of physical inactivity.
The framework Everybody active, every day, focuses on four areas in which physical activity can be encouraged. These include the creation of environments that support active lives, and the importance of interventions to target physical inactivity. It also recommends the development of leadership on physical activity in the health and education sectors, and the identification of successful local programmes, which can be applied on a national basis.
PHE said that physical inactivity plays a part in one in six deaths in the UK, and costs the health service approximately £7.4 billion a year. They also estimate that one in four women and one in five men do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, so are classified as 'inactive' and that physical inactivity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK.
Professor Kevin Fenton, executive director of health and wellbeing at PHE, said: 'Physical inactivity is unrecognised as a significant health, social and economic burden on individuals and communities in England. It is the fourth greatest cause of ill health in the UK, and a leading contributor to rising levels of many long-term conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and dementia.'
Dr Justin Varney, PHE's national lead for adult health and wellbeing, said: 'Every nurse has an important role to play in combatting physical inactivity. School nurses have opportunities to engage children from an early age and steer them on a path to physical activity. Practice and community nurses can use brief interventions, something as small as a short chat, to raise awareness about the effects inactivity can have on the body.'
PHE has released a range of e-learning modules focusing on physical activity as part of its campaign.
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