Ian Paisley MP launches Nike, Designed to Move program alongside Olympic medallist Paula Radcliffe in Parliament.
The event was aimed at raising awareness of the declining numbers of children who are currently taking part in physical activity across the UK. For the first time in history, today’s children now have a shorter life expectancy than their parents – a startling statistic.
Between 1961 and 2005 in the UK, physical activity of the entire population decreased by 20%, with this figure rising as high as 35% by 2030. Alongside this, between 1994 and 2008 the prevalence of obesity amongst adults increased 79% in men and 47% in women, and within children aged 2-10 it increased by 56%.
Physical inactivity has been identified as a major risk factor for all causes of mortality, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon cancer, breast cancer and depression. The costs of inactivity to the NHS are around £21billion annually.
Speaking after the event, Ian Paisley said:
“It was a pleasure to welcome such a distinguished and world famous athlete to Parliament and promote such a great cause alongside her. Paula Radcliffe has long campaigned for healthy lifestyles across the UK and it was great for her and Nike to bring their experience to Westminster.
Adults and children alike across North Antrim and Northern Ireland should not underestimate the many positive physical and mental benefits from exercising. Not only do you become fitter and less at risk from illness, but it also helps ease anxiety and other issues.
Children should be encouraged to put down the computer games and start playing sport. Many life skills, social skills and friendships are formed through taking part in team activities at school. What’s more those who do take part in PE are proven to build bigger networks and perform better in their school work and jobs in later life, not to mention the reduced health care costs as you get older!
So as the summer approaches, parents and children alike should head outside and reap the many benefits that arise from physical activity!”