The need for our services
The way we live our lives has changed significantly over the past few decades and we are now less physically active than ever before. At the same time, there is now overwhelming evidence that links physical inactivity with a growing range of acute, chronic and life-threatening diseases and health conditions.
As well as being a source of enjoyment, sport and physical activity has proven benefits for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Being active at every age increases quality of life and remaining healthy and independent.
Physical activity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor in global mortality.
Young people aged 5-17 years old - should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily but only 21% of boys and 16% of girls aged 5 – 15 are achieving the recommended daily amount.
Adults aged 18-64 years old - should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week, however 1 in 2 women and a third of men are damaging their health through a lack of physical activity.
Adults, aged over 65 - should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week, however, by the age of 75 years, only 1 in 10 men and 1 in 20 women are active enough for good health.
Physical activity in adulthood can reduce the risk of early death by up to 35% and reduces the risk of some cancers by up to 50%.
The Somerset landscape
- 66.9% (Active Lives survey) of Somerset adults meet physical activity recommendations, but there are sections that remain stubbornly inactive and these are in lower socio-economic groups and older people aged 65+ years.
- At present 20.2% of our population are classified inactive with 33.1% not doing enough to gain maximum health benefits. When we look at the data more closely we see that both Sedgemoor and West Somerset areas activity figures are significantly worse than the county average, both at 23.2%.
- Somerset is an increasingly aging population and given that activity levels drop as age increases this is a distinct challenge becoming more acute over time. By 2023 the vast majority of areas will have over 25% of their population over 65 years of age.