Getting fit in middle age boosts your chances of a longer life
New research shows 69% of people in England with long-term health conditions say they want to be more active. But this group is twice as likely as the general population to avoid physical activity.
Fifteen major health charities, including Age UK and The Stroke Association, have come together to launch new campaign We Are Undefeatable, following the success of Sport England's This Girl Can initiative.
The campaign is being launched to support the one in four (that's 15 million people in England) who live with one or more long-term health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis.
People with chronic conditions are twice as likely to be inactive, even though there's plenty of evidence which shows physical activity can help in the management of many health problems.
In a survey of over 100 adults, 69% of people with one or more conditions said they want to be more active. But the results revealed this group felt they face barriers to exercising, including lack of energy (36%) and pain (40%). Over a quarter of participants said the unpredictable nature of their condition made it hard to commit to a routine.
Dr Zoe Williams, media GP and Public Health England's Physical Activity Champion, said: "I see people every day in my surgery who are unsure how to become more active whilst managing their long-term health condition. The evidence base for physical activity in the management of long-term conditions is extremely compelling and I love how this campaign highlights that even small amounts of regular physical activity can significantly improve people's physical health, and also their mental and psychological well-being."
We Are Undefeatable support packs will be distributed to every GP surgery and community pharmacy in England. They will include inspiration and tips on how to get active in ways that suit people with chronic conditions.
Television presenter Dominic Littlewood, who has type 1 diabetes, said: "Living with a long-term health condition changes your life. But I've learnt that you can't let this defeat you. I've never been a gym person, so for me, getting active is all about taking things back to basics. I love walking, cycle, and always make an effort to take the stairs instead of a lift. I'm incredibly proud to be supporting this campaign and I hope I can inspire others to become more active."
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