Months of lockdowns and working from home have worsened the serious and costly problem of physical inactivity in the UK. Even before the emergence of Covid-19, inactivity was responsible for one in six deaths – equal to the toll taken by smoking. It was costing the economy an estimated £7.4 billion a year, and taking up nearly a billion pounds of the NHS annual budget.
As the country begins to move out of the acute phase of COVID-19, one of the biggest health challenges faced by the UK is being explored by leading thinkers, experts and practitioners, who have pooled their knowledge and expertise to explore ways to make the country more physically active.
A meeting in December organised by NHS Horizons and the sports data firm 4Global gathered together an extraordinarily diverse range of companies, local authorities and sports bodies to begin exploring radical options for confronting physical inactivity, and the health inequalities and costs to the health service that follow in its wake.