Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
Physical Inactivity Is One Of Our Biggest Crises - Can We Make Physical Activity A National Religion?
Physical inactivity is one of the biggest crises we face. Every day, parents, grandparents, wives and husbands are dying because they live in a society that doesn't place enough emphasis on the importance of physical activity.
There will be plenty to debate over the next five weeks as we head towards June 8th and a vote that will change the future of the country irrevocably. But beyond politics, this general election offers the unique opportunity for all of our parties to pledge commitment to an Active Britain, with physical activity as its beating heart. The health of our nation depends on it.
Putting physical activity at the heart of community infrastructure is the only long-term solution to save the NHS from bankruptcy. It is time to take the bold and radical decisions to integrate physical activity into our daily lives. For the sake of our health and that of the NHS, we must all take responsibility.
Some of you will have read about the horrifying attack that took place at a disabled care home last week in Japan, and some of you will not. If you haven't, you're not a bad or uninformed person; you're the proof that this story did not receive adequate attention particularly from the Government.
Employers need to be positive and supportive of employees who are active, whether that's by providing internal health and wellbeing coaching, encouraging staff to take a full lunch break or running an incentives programme. But working together, employers and their staff, with the right backing from government, can make inactive offices a thing of the past.
I am one of a small team of co-facilitators on a ground-breaking leadership initiative for women in higher education, called
Our most recent report, 'Generation Inactive', has found a worrying lack of tracking and measurement of children's physical activity and fitness in primary schools, and examines different ways we can encourage 'the least active generation in history' to become more fit and active. We can't continue to focus on the size of their waists when it is the health of their hearts that is most important.
I know this is a nuisance, but the thing is that there are loads of us women. Not all periods are the same. Some women just have a day of cramps and are fairly regular. Others can come on at any minute and will stab you in the eye/ burst in to tears of you look at them funny.
This week I attended the Commonwealth Observance Day service, where I was privileged to hear from Lord Coe, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Malala Yousafzai. The theme of the event centred around team as the Commonwealth builds up to the 2014 games.
Similarly to FTSE companies, sports governing bodies have been given until 2017, to make sure at least a quarter of board members are women, or see their funding cut. An objective that is likely to be missed as currently only 15 meet this target.