City fitness strategy launched

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Decade of Health and Wellbeing aims to promote a healthier lifestyle in Liverpool

A new fitness scheme has been launched with an aim to improve the health of everyone in Liverpool within five years.

The scheme is part of the wide ‘2020 Decade of Health and Wellbeing’ and aims to get people involved in physical activity regardless of age or ability.

Figures suggest that around 80,000 adults and over 13,000 children are obese with the direct cost to the NHS thought to be around £5 million per year.

The strategy, named ‘Be Active: Be Healthy’, will run for five years and will try to address the issues in the city, which will include recommendations on how much exercise different age groups should participate in each week.

A report from the city council predicted that if the current trends continue then by 2020 nearly a third of the population of Liverpool will be obese.

The scheme will run a number of initiatives which will include free access to Lifestyles Leisure Centre for anyone up to the age of 17.

The main aim of the strategy is to increase participation in physical activity by two per cent each year it is in operation. This will be monitored by the independent Active People Survey.

It will be supported by a number of sportsmen, including Everton FC midfielder Stephen Naismith and Paralympian David Devine, who secured two bronze medals in the 800m and 1500m at this summer’s games.

As well as arranging organised activities across the city for people to take part in the scheme will also raise awareness of affordable ways to keep healthy, making use of green spaces was a key issue.

This scheme follows successful predecessors such as Cycle for Health which started in 2005 and is still making an impact across the city with 23 venues and over 600 participants benefiting from the facilities.

Be Active: Be Healthy has been put together by the city council in partnership with the Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

About Jamie Allen, JMU Journalism