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Shropshire Council
Abbey Foregate

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Physical activity

Being physically active is one of the best ways to prevent disease, and there is a relationship between the amount of physical activity people do and all-cause mortality.

Active lifestyles are important in reducing and preventing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, some cancers, musculoskeletal conditions, depression and other mental health conditions.

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has made recommendations on physical activity for people at the different stages of life:

  • early years
  • children and young people
  • adults
  • older people

These recommendations include children and young people engaging in moderate to vigorous activity for at least 60 minutes seven days per week, adults engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week and to minimise sedentary behaviour across all age groups.

What do we know?

The latest Sport England Active People Survey (2008-09) highlights that 16.1% of people aged over 16 years in Shropshire were moderately physically active for at least 30 minutes on three days per week. This is similar to the national figure of 16.6% of people; however the Active People indicator does not match the CMO’s requirement.

Lifestyle surveys and the Active People diagnostic tool for local authorities highlight that physical activity in Shropshire decreases with age. People living in the most deprived areas of Shropshire are less likely to be physically active than those from more affluent areas, but not significantly so. There is no significant difference between genders taking part in physical activity, but more males than females report being active. This is also found in local lifestyle surveys of pupils aged 11-15 years old, with more boys being active than girls.

What are we doing?

The Shropshire Active4Health programme provides a website with a search facility for local exercise classes and programmes that are appropriate ‘first steps’ into activity for inactive adults. Existing exercise providers are able to register as Active4Health providers and have their activity classes detailed on the website. The site also provides links to other local and national websites providing information on physical activity. Active4Health is included as part of Shropshire’s adult weight management services, Help2Slim.

GP Consultation focus groups identified access to physical activity and exercise referral schemes as being a current problem for their overweight and obese patients. ‘Let’s get moving’ is a physical activity care pathway devised by the Department of Health for use in primary care. It includes a standardised screening tool for assessing the physical activity level of patients, and evidence-based behavioural change techniques to support them in increasing their physical activity levels. It is being introduced into GP practices in Shropshire as part of the rollout of the NHS Health Check programme.


Last updated: 27 July 2015 Print this page

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