Physically Inactive Adults in Wales

Figures released today by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) indicate worrying levels of physical inactivity across the UK, suggesting that 1 million Welsh adults are not doing enough exercise.

It is clear that physical inactivity is fast becoming one of the major public health concerns across the UK. We welcome the 'My Marathon' initiative as an opportunity to encourage people to become more active, the key will be ensuring people sustain that activity.

The medical benefits of being active more often are clear and well known, but levels of inactivity persist. We have to work with people to support and demonstrate the ways they can fit more activity into their daily lives and then help them to build on that. It's also important to note that some of the people who are being classed as 'inactive' are doing something, so it is about building on that base.

No one organisation can tackle physical inactivity - there needs to be a true partnership approach, and Sport Wales and the sport sector in Wales are ready to play our part. There's a sport or activity for everyone and we have to ensure that people are aware of what is available and the opportunities we provide give them confidence to take part regularly. We have seen some excellent examples of how the sport sector has adapted its offer to get people involved who thought regular activity was beyond them.

Finally, key to our collective approach is that every pupil leaves school with the ability, confidence and motivation to be active for life, which is a far more cost effective intervention than cure on the NHS. We have to tackle the problems we have today, but also ensure that we are equipping the next generation to remain active.

Sara's Story

A goal to climb the Atlas Mountains in Morocco motivated Sara Evans, from Blackwood, to take up social running and get more active. She said: "I was nearly 20 stone, as unfit as it is possible to be and decided it was time for a change." Fast-forward 2 years and Sara is a regular park runner and a *Run Wales blogger to help inspire others. She has taken part in many running events, including a half marathon and added: "I have discovered a love of running and exercise that I never thought possible. I'm by no way a record breaking runner but, for me it's finish lines and not finish times that matter."

Sara Runner

*'Run Wales is Welsh Athletics' social running programme designed to 'inspire, encourage and support every adult in Wales to run'. We want to offer everyone in Wales the opportunity to walk, jog or run, and to do this more often'