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23 and a half hours


That’s the thought-provoking question asked by Dr Mike Evans in a fantastic short film which everyone in the sector should watch (see www.health- club.co.uk/fi lm). In less than 10 minutes he makes a compelling case for exercise, setting out the


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extensive health benefi ts but also, crucially, making these seem achievable. All we need to do is limit our inactivity to 23 and a half hours a day, or 23 hours for children. It’s a simple challenge, but a very timely


one given last month’s report by the All- Party Commission on Physical Activity, which made several recommendations on addressing inactivity levels in the UK. These


Although there needs to be an element of the ‘why’ in our public- facing messages, the focus should be just as much on the ‘how’


include the creation of a cross-sector and cross-departmental National Action Plan supported by the leaders of all three major political parties; the implementation of a public health campaign focused on the benefi ts of physical activity; and a drive to establish physical activity as a lifelong habit by providing early access to positive experiences in sport and active play. The need for kids to be active has since


been picked up by a coalition of multi-sector organisations – including British Heart Foundation, Nike, Lawn Tennis Association, Sustrans, Premier League and The Young


an you limit your sitting and sleeping to 23 and a half hours a day?


Foundation – which have jointly created MOVE1, a movement promoting an hour’s daily activity for kids, backed up by an online community that offers parents tips on how to integrate this into everyday lives. But while the idea of developing a


national plan to tackle the physical inactivity pandemic is to be welcomed, as ukactive CEO David Stalker commented: “We must be cautious that the youth demographic isn’t seen as the main driver in overturning what is a societal problem that needs to be addressed holistically.” As Liz Terry observed in the last month’s


Health Club Management, we must continue to set our sights high when it comes to getting the whole UK population active (see HCM April 14, p3). We should be looking beyond MOVE1’s ‘hour a day’ ambition for kids only, pushing instead for daily movement across the whole of society, as Evans suggests in his fi lm. But will actioning the Commission’s


recommendations bring this about? I’d question whether public health campaigns focused exclusively on the benefi ts of activity actually work. Ask the average person in the street and they already know exercise is good for their health – they just don’t do it. Show them health-related research fi ndings and sadly, for most, these are too intangible to motivate them to get moving (see HCM Feb 14, p32). I’m starting to wonder if – although


there must be an element of the ‘why’ in our public-facing messages – the focus should be as much on the ‘how’. How can people squeeze activity into their time- and cash-strapped days? That’s the key: making daily activity seem easily and enjoyably achievable. And it starts with a simple question: can you limit your sitting and sleeping to just 23 and a half hours a day?


Kate Cracknell, editor - katecracknell@leisuremedia.com / twitter: @HealthClubKate To share your thoughts on this topic, visit www.healthclubmanagement.co.uk/blog


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