Eleven time Paralympian gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson spoke to the UK FPH conference today (7 July) about the importance of the 2012 Olympics in encouraging physical activity, particularly amongst women and children.
She called for the 2012 budget to be protected from cuts, underlining the potential cost savings to the NHS if it can be used to promote and support people to exercise more often. Inactivity costs the economy an estimated £8.2 billion a year in England, and Grey-Thompson challenged the public health community to find more innovative ways of encouraging participation in sports and exercise.
Physical activity contributes to the prevention and management of conditions including coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental ill health and obesity. Grey-Thompson said that “Promoting physical activity is integral to the preventative agenda. In a time when budgets are being cut across all public services, the NHS and wider economy cannot continue to bear the increasing financial burden of preventable conditions.”