Adults in Bournemouth are some of the most active in the country according to a recent report commissioned by UK Active.
150 local authorities across the UK were reviewed in a report called ‘Turning the Tide of Inactivity’ which assessed the scale and impact of physical inactivity across the UK. The report looked at the levels and frequency of physical activity in adults and whilst there is a rising trend of inactivity in adults across the UK, Bournemouth has been highlighted as having one of the lowest levels of adult inactivity ranking fifth in the UK and number one in the South West.
As non essential public service, local authorities are faced with difficult decisions when tasked with reducing expenditure. Four years ago, Bournemouth Borough Council recognising the long term implications on public health, opted to tender the operation of its four leisure centres and awarded the management to BH Live who has since significantly increased adult participation in physical activity and improved local leisure services.
Councillor Lawrence Williams, portfolio holder for Tourism, Leisure & Culture for Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “This is great news that more and more adults in Bournemouth are getting active and using the fantastic leisure facilities we have in the town. By exercising it can have a real positive effect on your health and in partnership with BH Live, the Council wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the diverse range of service available at our leisure centres. With the new Coastal Activity Park at Boscombe set to open in the Spring there will be even more chances for residents to get out and get active.”
The report further emphasises the link between reduced participation in physical activity and higher long-term costs in areas such as health care. One particular project highlighted in the report was the Bournemouth‘s After Cancer Survivorship Programme (BACSUP); a joint health, fitness and wellbeing programme provided by BH Live, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RBCHFT) and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The programme is for people living with breast, colorectal or haematological cancer who want to improve their potential to live life active and well. To date, over 450 people, who may have otherwise been unable to participate in physical activity, have been supported through BACSUP and have experienced the benefits of being more active.
Peter Gunn, Chief Executive for BH Live said: “The UK Active report demonstrates the impact physical inactivity can have on public health. We work with Bournemouth Borough Council to generate higher participation levels in the town’s leisure centres; targeting hard to reach individuals and those who are currently inactive. Through partnership working and our own activity initiatives, we have seen a significant increase in adults participating in physical activity and it is very encouraging to read that Bournemouth is the leading conurbation in the South West and ranks so highly the UK for adult activity levels.”
To see the full report visit www.ukactive.com