Two stark and rather bleak headlines were this week presented at The Sheffield hosted European Outdoor Summit. I was lucky enough to attend a full on programme of talks and workshops focusing around the problems faced by suppliers (brands) and retailers in a new digital age. Add to that the environment and sustainability, plus the growing world Omni channel retailing and communication, the ‘Internet of Things’.
Yet, as an active runner since the age of 16 two very stark headlines stood out.
The first is that by 2020, smoking will no longer be the biggest cause of premature death. Inactivity and obesity is set to overtake it. This was coupled with the fact that the current rising average age of death in the population is likely to decrease. Now that is scary.
The second point is that 33% of men and 45% of women do not meet the current national guidelines for the minimum requirement of healthy activity per week, with the figure gradually getting worse. There was then a list of associated diseases with inactivity, including certain cancers and dementia (I had no idea!) that if we exercise regularly can be dramatically reduced. Really? Yes, it would appear so. I think the figure was 1:6 will die early from ‘inactivity’!
Another starting and worrying fact is that within Europe is that Britain is sitting right at the top of the table. It would appear we are overall a lazy nation, with the current crop of late teens and twenty something’s at greatest risk within the provided statistics. Even our children are at risk as they should be getting, from the time they walk, upwards of an hour of exercise-play per day. We are talking running around here and getting out of breath.
The cost of all this to our Public Health network is getting worse and if we can encourage those who do not exercise to begin the process, it would be a good thing. The truth is the statistics do not just apply to the heavier amongst us, it also applies to the stick insects who also do not like the idea of exercise.
It comes back to the same old thing. We must as active, responsible individuals encourage those around us who do not exercise to do something. Positive encouragement breaking down the challenges into bite size achievable chunks. Day by day, step by step. Professor Greg Whyte who is most famous for his work with Comic Relief and getting the stars of TV to do amazing things was very keen to point out that we are all capable of incredible feats. Yet we have to approach everything in a serious of achievable steps, with encouragement from those around us. Simply if we have the mind set ‘To Do’, nothing is impossible.
It was also clear from the Summit that the Brands and their retailers must find ways of creating adventure for the less active that is achievable, enjoyable and sustainable. That responsibility must also fall on all our shoulders.
So the message is clear, ‘Everybody Active Every Day’ and we all have a part to play.
Note: Accelerate is already talking to the powers that be on how we can get involved in the process of getting more folk active, so keep your eyes pealed.
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