Sport England research shows:
- There are roughly 5.8 million inactive people over 55 in England and the number of inactive people is growing as people are living longer.
- Inactivity among over 55s is responsible for as many deaths as smoking
- 36% of over 55s are inactive compared to 26% of the population as a whole
- Age 55-64 (28% inactive), 65-74 (31% inactive) 75-84 year olds (49% inactive), 85+ (72% inactive)
The statistics are shocking but true. We have become a lazy, unhealthy nation. Sport England are investing up to £10 million of National Lottery money into 20 projects across England to reduce the number of inactive older adults.
This is great news but with only 20 projects being supported more still needs to be done to get more older people out and active. Every Local authority should be looking at ways to facilitate this. Central Government needs to consider greater funding of local initiatives because more exercise means better health which means less strain on the NHS.
But in reality, if we had to wait for Local Authorities to draft, committee, re-draft, re committee such a programme they would have spent all the available funding! So its comes down to us – you and me – to get out there and encourage, coerce and inspire everyone over 55 to get outside and take some exercise.
Think of it as our way of saving the NHS and extending everyone’s lives.
Further information available from Sport England