Friday, 16 December 2016

Sedentary lifestyles: the hidden factor in the social care crisis

Sedentary lifestyles: the hidden factor in the social care crisis Taking exercise is a ‘miracle pill’ that can save us from physical and mental ill health in old age. So why are politicians so reluctant to promote it?

The current debate about the ever-growing pressure on social care services is by no means the first, and certainly won’t be the last. But it is always predicated around the same central assumption: with increasing numbers of older people, the costs can only go up. This is to miss an important point, one well known to public health experts but strangely ignored by most politicians. The problem isn’t just about an ageing population, it’s also about an increasingly sedentary one.

That far too many Britons are not physically active is well documented, even if the sheer extent can sometimes be surprising. For example, a fifth of Scottish people say they have not walked for more than 20 minutes even once over the past year. Not once. Also well known, if less discussed, is the toll this takes on the public health. The usual estimate is that about 85,000 people die early each year in England and Wales due to illnesses caused by sedentary living, mainly heart disease, type 2 diabetes and various cancers. Continue reading... The Guardian

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