Having successfully led the bid for London to host the 2012 Olympic Games, Lord Sebastian Coe – winner of four Olympic gold medals turned MP, life peer and now champion of the nation’s health – has a new mission to get us all moving. After all, sitting is the new smoking.
With the global cost of physical inactivity standing at more than $6 trillion, the World Health Organization says our sedentary lifestyle is now the fourth leading risk factor for mortality, resulting in 3.2 million deaths every year.
It’s an astonishing statistic but what’s even more deeply concerning is the rising incidence of obesity among children. And, although other hugely significant factors like poor nutrition come into play, Lord Sebastian Coe reveals just 20% of nine to 15-year-olds are getting anywhere near the chief medical officer’s guidance for activity in the UK.
“We have to do for physical education teaching what they did for science and maths through funding mechanisms,” he told the audience at OPEN Health’s recent Health Innovation: Big Ideas event. “PE should be a core part of the timetable – not just one 40-minute session once or twice a week, but built into the daily timetable – and as enshrined in primary schools as it is in secondary.”
To read to full report on Lord Coe's thoughts on obesity check out the article in our November issue of PharmaTimes Maagzine here.