Senior politicians were urged last night to help drive the physical activity agenda by supporting a range of bold policy calls to get Britain moving.
ukactive’s parliamentary reception for its Strategic Partner Group saw attendance from nearly a dozen high-ranking Conservatives – including sports minister David Evennett and former health secretary Baron Lansley – as ukactive chair Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson outlined the organisation’s vision for a more active Britain.
Building on the points from ukactive’s recent Blueprint and the government’s own sports strategy, Grey-Thompson said physical activity needs to be at the heart of health policy and that tackling inactivity in Britain’s workplaces is a key battleground.
Grey-Thompson invited MPs to support ukactive’s new campaign for an expansion of the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme to introduce a wider-reaching ‘Workout from Work’ – allowing things like corporate gym memberships and activity accessories (including fitness trackers and standing desks) to be purchased tax-free in the same manner.
“ukactive already works closely with government departments across Whitehall, and today’s parliamentary dinner signals our intention to expand the scope of our work and reach out to parliamentarians across House who support our cause,” said Grey-Thompson.
“The government has already made a positive first step in setting forward its strategy for physical activity. Alongside parliament, ukactive will now work to ensure this first step becomes a real springboard for change, matched by all the necessary resources to realise its promise of a more active nation.
”In addition to its efforts for improving workplace wellness, ukactive’s 2016 plan for parliamentary engagement will see it scaling up work to make the case for measuring children’s fitness in anticipation of the forthcoming Childhood Obesity Strategy. This includes expanding the evidence base and convincing those in Westminster and Whitehall of the need to explore the policy in the national curriculum.
Meanwhile, ukactive said its long-term parliamentary vision is for a government-backed Physical Activity Act brought in to law. The Act would outline significant, long-term targets and funding to tackle inactivity at its core and implement the policies set forward in ukactive’s Blueprint for an Active Britain.
Last night’s parliamentary reception was sponsored by wearable tech firm MyZone, whose CEO Dave Wright said during his address that collaboration between government and the physical activity sector is key to improving the health of the nation.
“Everybody has a role to play in driving the activity agenda and at MyZone we focus on behaviour change to drive sustained exercise adherence,” said Wright.
“We’re delighted to support ukactive in their mission to make more people, more active, more often and we hope to take significant strides in 2016 to get Britain moving.”
Source: Leisure Opportunities