Getting down to business with a rise in active living

July 29, 2020

Research has shown that inactivity is twice as deadly as obesity. At the same time, it costs our economy billions, including in sickness absence and healthcare costs. Here, Clare Morley, chief executive of strategic partnership Rise, explains how a whole systems approach to tackling inactivity is set to transform Northumberland and Tyne and Wear communities

The North East has the second highest levels of inactivity in the UK. Almost 40 per cent of adults in Tyne and Wear, and a third of adults in Northumberland are not achieving the chief medical officer’s minimum requirements of 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity.

Improving activity levels holds massive potential for improving health, happiness and economic outcomes for our region and this is where Rise – our new strategic organisation working with business, local government, the health sector, education settings, and the justice system, to develop more active communities across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear – can help.

We all know that exercise and moving more is essential, it makes us feel good. But the benefits don’t stop at the physical; being more active improves our mood and is proven to help us stay focused and be more creative at work. As staff productivity is one of the main concerns for many employers, it’s clear that encouraging employees to be more active and reducing absenteeism is a strategy that can pay off.

What many people don’t realise is that towns with more walkers and people travelling by bike not only have better air quality, they are also statistically safer places to be, with less anti-social behaviour and arguably, a more profitable retail sector.

Rise, launched in July, has been formed by a coming together of Tyne and Wear Sport and Northumberland Sport, two previously independent, experienced Active Partnerships.

We aim to help our strategic partners to achieve their desired goals by incorporating physical activity into their solutions, and to help create a more active approach to life and travel for residents in our area.

Working with a broad range of local, regional and national partners including six local authorities, NHS, Sport England, businesses, education settings and the justice system to create the conditions for success across a wide range of projects, the team at Rise believes that change is possible and that a more active population is an essential part of the North East’s recovery journey.

By focusing on reducing physical inactivity in communities throughout the combined region we can achieve significant, positive, strategic outcomes including increased educational attainment and reduced absenteeism, improved physical and mental health, reduced anti-social behaviour, safer and more vibrant communities.

We encourage business leaders and decision-makers to think differently about the issues they are trying to address. They may not have considered the role that physical activity can play in reaching solutions. Rise can provide guidance, information, insight and expertise on how physical activity can support their objectives and so we encourage them to get in touch with us.

Together we are greater than the sum of our parts.

For more information on Rise and achieving socio-economic, community and project goals through a more active population visit: www.wearerise.co.uk

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