A COALITION of leading charities and institutions are urging the Scottish Parliament to act immediately following a report reveals 17% of deaths in the UK are caused by inactivity, compared to 9% worldwide1.
While up to 40% of long-term conditions, including type 2 diabetes and some cancers, could be prevented if the UK Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity recommendations2 were met.
Movement for Health, a group made up of 20 charities and institutions, has asked all parties in the next parliament to show leadership at local and national level to address the physical activity and healthcare issues of the country.
The coalition group, initiated by walking charity Paths for All and fronted by Chairperson Dr Emma Lunan, champions the role of physical activity in preventing and managing disease.
It is hoped the call to action report will highlight key challenges faced by the nation and how Scottish legislative powers can make a difference.
Dr Lunan, said: “The damming statistics on our nation’s health is extremely worrying and we must act now to prevent this from deteriorating further.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we have seen a great number of people embracing the outdoors and looking for innovative ways to stay active.
“We must use this momentum, along with proper support from our new Scottish Parliament, to mark inactivity as a priority as we move into the summer months.
“Prehabilitation, recovery and rehabilitation are critical to addressing the long-term effects of medical conditions, including Covid-19, and so we all must recognise – from governmental level down to local community groups – that everyone will benefit from being outdoors more.”
It has been found that more than one million people in Scotland are living with health conditions such as arthritis and heart disease, yet 46% of these people are inactive – a figure double that of the general population.
While 24% of Scottish adults have at least one long-term health condition, and they are twice as likely to be inactive than those who do not.
Dr Lunan, added: “Movement for Health will do everything it can to promote the health benefits of leading an active life and is committed to improving the nation’s health by encouraging physical activity, even if it is a short 10 minute walk around the block.”
The World Health Organisation recommends that all adults over 18 years old undertake 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days per week to sustain good health. Recent studies have shown that patients with long-term health conditions are twice as likely to be inactive than the rest of the population, a statistic that concerns many within the healthcare industry3.
Movement for Health is a Scottish coalition of 16 leading health charities to champion physical activity for people with health conditions. With three key missions, Movement for Health is working towards raising awareness within health practitioners, policy makers and the general public, by providing research, resources and political action to support those who are affected to get more active.
For more information on Movement for Health, visit: https://www.movementforhealth.scot/