Birmingham is leading the way in tackling the inactivity crisis thanks to a range of FREE initiatives aimed at getting Brummies off the couch.
As Sport England unveiled new four-year plan to tackle inactivity, people across Birmingham were embarking on another day of FREE, fun activities aimed at getting Brummies off the couch.
Initiatives such as Active Parks, Big Birmingham Bikes, Run Birmingham and Be Active are helping thousands or people lead active lives – with an emphasis on participation rather than simply competition.
And the Birmingham approach fits perfectly with the new Sport England strategy which will target the 28% of people who do less than 30 minutes of exercise per week, with a shift in emphasis towards the least active groups.
Deputy Council Leader, Cllr Ian Ward explained: “I welcome Sport England’s focus on inactivity and it fits perfectly with our ongoing work in Birmingham. We’ve encouraged people to get active across the city by making it easy, attractive, convenient and social. Schemes like Active Parks and Big Birmingham Bikes help people to take the initial steps and we’ve then encouraged them to turn those small steps into much bigger ones.
“We’re helping people realise that they’re in control of their own health and fitness and ultimately we’re creating a happier and healthier Birmingham.
“Being active can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50 per cent. It can lower your risk of early death by up to 30 per cent, while research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Exercise has been labelled a ‘miracle cure’ and there’s something for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re not going to be an Olympic athlete or a world champion, what matters is that you get off the couch and we’re here to help.”
Sport Birmingham Chief Executive, Mike Chamberlain added: “The new strategy focuses on inactivity and also on health inequalities, recognising that partnership work is key; Birmingham is seen as a trailblazer and now has the opportunity to bring in greater investment and make an even bigger difference to the communities and individuals across the city, by harnessing the power of sport and physical activity to improve lives.
“Our ambition to make Birmingham the most improved city in terms of levels of sport and physical activity participation has been given a real boost by this new 5 year strategy, and we are really excited about the opportunity ahead of us.”