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Moving More, Living More

The Government and Mayor of London have launched Moving More, Living More, the physical activity Olympic and Paralympic legacy plan for the nation. As a team effort to promote physical activity across the country, Moving More, Living More is a lasting legacy of London 2012 and part of a long term vision for a fitter nation.

SD Scene publishes news and comment on sustainable development from across government, business and civil society. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect government policy.

Physical activity offers many clear benefits, from improved individual health outcomes including a 30% reduction in the risk of dying early, to stronger communities, reduced pollution and congestion, and increased footfall in high streets. Despite this a large proportion of the UK population is still inactive, with only 56 per cent of adults meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week, and only 21 per cent of boys and 16 per cent of girls aged 5 – 15 are achieving 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

Learning from the world’s most active countries demonstrates that action on physical activity needs to be a long term effort and is best tackled through a team approach across government and all sectors. Moving More, Living More brings together individuals and key organisations, like local authorities, businesses and employers, to ensure that the drive to tackle physical activity:

  • Has strong leadership – at national, local and community level
  • Involves partners across all sectors and levels working together
  • Shines a light on existing good practice, celebrating the work of local champions who drive a huge variety of local activities
  • Provides opportunities which work for people. This is not just about telling people to do more exercise because it is good for them, it is about giving them the opportunity to be active in ways which fit into their everyday lives and which suits their interests
  • Recognises and tackles the barriers that prevent people being active

On the launch of this new initiative the Prime Minister, David Cameron described the importance of a team effort for higher levels of physical activity:

“The country was captured by the spirit of the 2012 Games, inspired by our sporting heroes and their many achievements. We now need to build on this, creating a nation that’s physically active and improving their health for the long term.

“We need to provide communities with the encouragement to come together and realise the physical and social benefits of being more active. Government, Local Government, business and community groups must now join together to help make this ambition a reality.”

Going further to encourage more physical activity

The Government has already put in place a wide range of measures to help people become more active but the Government and Mayor of London are now going further.

The legacy plan will to encourage more initiatives like the one being led by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), who are working with the Swimathon Foundation to get children swimming. As part of a new Responsibility Deal, the ASA, and its partner the Swimathon Foundation, have pledged to recruit and provide tools for schools to inspire 10,000 youngsters who have acquired essential swimming skills to ‘Swim their Best’, swimming further and for longer.

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison has stressed the importance of physical activity as a legacy of London 2012:

“Physical activity is an essential ingredient for a healthier nation, and can deliver so many other benefits for individuals and the wider community.

“The Olympic and Paralympic legacy has already delivered good results with over 1.5 million more people doing sport once a week than when we won the bid to host the Games. By working together we can achieve more and make sure that getting more people moving is the biggest legacy of London 2012.”

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