It is estimated that physical inactivity currently causes one in six deaths in Greater Manchester, and costs the health service £26.7m per year through related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Tackling this preventable problem, is to become a priority across Greater Manchester, with key players from the public sector joining forces with Sport England – in a new partnership to benefit the health, social and economic outcomes of the area.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the NHS in Greater Manchester (including the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership overseeing devolution) and Sport England have joined forces. The partnership is a commitment to help people make sport and physical activity a part of daily life, in order to help reduce stress, ill health, absenteeism and prevent loneliness.
By sharing research, experience and expertise, the partnership aims to see empowered neighbourhoods able to take more control of their own health and activity levels.
Early priorities for consideration include, making sport and activity more accessible to people with learning difficulties and working with Centre for Ageing on fitness in later years. Additionally, incorporating sport and physical activity into the care for people with long-term conditions via NHS Vanguard sites in Salford and Stockport, is also part of the plan.
Tracey Vell, GP and Chair of the Association of Greater Manchester’s Local Medical Committees, said: “There is a whole group of people in Greater Manchester, who know they need to move more, but don’t want to feel like sport or being active is being imposed on them. For this group it’s essential to find a way of being active that doesn’t feel like exercise and which they feel comfortable with.