Motivation is Key to Beat the Inactivity Crisis Says Science Report
Despite the glorious success of Team GB at the Beijing Olympics this summer, the UK is still suffering from a growth in obesity levels which have doubled since the 1980’s. Around one in four men and one in three women in the UK are obese, according to government statistics. People who are obese also have an increased risk of high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, type two diabetes, a heart attack or stroke and some forms of cancer.
This follows recent research by UK scientists underlining the importance of having a goal to work towards in order to keep fit and healthy. They have proven that people taking part in activity with the ultimate target of participating in an event, are more likely to improve their activity levels and lifestyles.
This Sunday, 52,000 people will Take To The Streets of the North East for the challenge of the Bupa Great North Run, as the world’s biggest half marathon makes its annual appearance on Tyneside.
Founder of the event and former Olympian, Brendan Foster, wants to fight obesity by getting more people involved in mass participation events. He said: “With the UK being less fit than it ever has been, I feel it is our duty to address the problem of obesity, especially when you see research showing that our children have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”
Research undertaken by the Institute of Youth Sport at Loughborough University has shown that taking part in a mass participation event such as the Great North Swim or the Bupa Great North Run can make a significant difference to your health.
The ‘GreatFun2Run’ study involved over 300 school children aged seven to eleven, who undertook a special activity programme, which encouraged them to get fit in order to take part in the Junior Great North Run and other junior mass participation running events.
Experts spent time with the children, their teachers and parents, to assess attitudes to fitness and healthy lifestyles, as well as activity levels before and after the programme.
Over a period of ten months they found that the best results were achieved by challenging children to prepare for an event. By giving them the incentive to increase their level of exercise, the children experienced a reduced rate of weight increase as they got older.
Brendan added: “The ‘GreatFun2Run’ study gives us the scientific proof to back up what events such as the Bupa Great North Run are all about. This approach can work for people of all ages, not just children and regardless of ability.
“Take To The Streets provides the motivation many people need to do something about their fitness and health through a series of exciting, varied nationwide events. We hope that more people than ever will be inspired to take part and join our bid to improve the nation’s fitness.”
During the next four years in the lead-up to 2012, Take To The Streets will provide a national network of events to cover a variety of activities including running, walking, cycling, swimming, gym and even dance, with the aim of challenging people to get fit.
For more information visit www.taketothestreets.org
For further information please contact Felicity Amer, Charlotte Green or Chris Gooch at Bradley O’Mahoney Public Relations.
Tel: 0191 281 88 33
Fax: 0191 281 49 54
0191 281 8833