Lack of exercise killing hundreds in North Somerset

Sedentary lifestyles kill hundreds in North Somerset every year.

Sedentary lifestyles kill hundreds in North Somerset every year. - Credit: Archant

LACK of exercise among North Somerset’s residents means more than 800 people are dying prematurely every year.

This startling revelation comes at the launch of a new awareness campaign being launched by the South West Public Health Observatory to team up with sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

The two organisations have released figures showing that an estimated 826 people die every year because they do not lead an active enough life to stay healthy.

They want to highlight the dangers of an inactive lifestyle, and prompt people in North Somerset and beyond to make changes which could save their life.

The say this does not mean a wholesale life change by joining a gym, or taking up sport – a small adjustment, such as walking to work, or anything else which will result in 10 minutes of physical activity twice a day, can be enough.

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Sustrans chief executive Malcolm Shepherd said: “Until now inactivity has been a hidden killer, with few people realising how dangerous an inactive lifestyle can be.

“Health experts agree that walking and cycling are the easiest ways for people to get the exercise they need.”

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North Somerset’s director of public health, Becky Pollard, agrees that small steps are key to cutting the risk of premature death or illness.

She said: “To keep healthy we need to aim for at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

“Sedentary living will lead to around 9,000 people in North Somerset developing diabetes at some point in their lives.

“Even small increases in activity could bring big health benefits.”

North Somerset Council has already been introducing new projects to help improve fitness among the district’s residents, notably its successful Go4Life initiative.

The council’s website says: “Go4Life is a North Somerset scheme to encourage and support people to live healthier and more active lives.

“Our Go4Life active directory provides information on a wide range of physical activities to cater for the beginner, those returning to exercise and those who want to try something different in a fun and social environment.

“To join the scheme (log on) and get lots of ideas for a happier, healthier future for you and your family.”

To find out more, visit

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