Health experts hoping for an Olympic boost

HEALTH experts are hoping the Olympic Games will inspire people in Eastbourne to get into shape.

Much has been made of the sporting and cultural legacy of London 2012, but local NHS staff hope seeing the cream of the world’s sporting crop take part in the capital will prompt people to take better care of themselves.

The influential medical journal The Lancet last week published a report showing that about a third of adults are not doing enough exercise and estimated that this could be causing 5.3 million deaths a year around the world.

That equates to about one in ten deaths due to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, breast or colon cancer.

The UK has one of the highest rates of inactivity with the Lancet study suggesting that nearly two-thirds of people in the UK are not active enough.

Researchers suggested that the problem was now so serious that it amounted to a pandemic.

They said people should be warned of the dangers of inactivity rather than just being reminded of the benefits of being active.

As a bare minimum it is recommended adults do 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling or gardening, each week.

And, if we are going to produce gold winning athletes of the future we’ll need to do a bit more than that.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, director of public health for local NHS, said, “We have all been looking forward to watching the Olympics locally or on television and although we can’t all be champions, we can all move more to improve our health.

“The Lancet reports present a grim picture of the cost to our health of inactivity and show once again that keeping fit is not just an option for the few but essential for all of us in our daily lives.

“I hope that people [in Eastbourne] will be inspired by the Olympics and will sit up and get moving in ways they can enjoy, preferably with the whole family.”

Tips on improving your health include taking the stairs instead of a lift, walking or cycling short distances instead of taking the car and going swimming.