Public Health England’s (PHE) new “Everybody active, every day’ is an initiative aimed at addressing the nation’s physical inactivity ‘epidemic’ that’s responsible for 1 in 6 deaths at an estimated annual cost of £7.4 billion. A staggering 45% of women and 33% of men are not active enough to maintain good health.
PHE’s aim is to get more adults taking at least 150 minutes of physical exercise a week. Providing a better infrastructure for cycling and encouraging more to cycle is high on PHE’s list of five steps local areas should be focusing on.
It’s no coincidence that the two countries with the best activity rates, Holland and Germany also have high rates of cycling and far healthier populations.
Push Bike!, is working to encourage the County and District Councils to take these issues seriously and start to reverse decades of poor planning decisions and highway design that have only served to encourage car dependent and sedentary lifestyles.
In doing so it will be important for planners, highway engineers, schools and primary care practitioners to work collaboratively in delivering the step change that’s needed if local health outcomes are to be improved. Local businesses, supported by the Chamber and LEP, could also be doing their bit to encourage employees to be more active and walk or cycle to work.
Push Bike! is specifically calling for the County Council, with its Highway and Public Health responsibilities to take up the invitation in the Government’s new Cycling Delivery Plan to set out long term ambitions for substantially increasing cycling (and walking) levels in Worcestershire.