With 26,000 inactive people on the Isle of Wight, a strategy is being devised to get people up and moving.
As part of the Isle Of Wight Council’s focus on obesity this year, more is being done to reverse the impact the Covid pandemic has had on people’s active lifestyles – ranging from the simplest, natural form of activity like a walk to school to taking part in sports clubs.
Early data from Sports England shows almost 20 percent of people have admitted to doing ‘a lot less’ physical activity compared to an average week before the Covid restrictions.
Before the Covid pandemic, figures were showing, 14,000 people on the Island were doing no physical activity, 10,000 doing light exercise but missing the intensity needed and 2,000 completing less than half an hour of activity a week – all deemed as physically inactive.
While the Island has a lower average of inactive people compared to Hampshire and England, concerns are still being raised about people’s health going forward from the pandemic, which may have been further hampered by already existing inequalities.
Energise Me, a charity focused on physical activity to build happier, healthier and stronger communities, has been commissioned to put together a strategy that will be adopted by the council’s health and wellbeing board, who will help roll it out across public bodies on the Island.
The Isle of Wight Council’s chief executive, John Metcalfe, said the perception of activity may need to change to get more people involved and to break barriers.
Julie Aimes, chief executive of Energise Me, said one of the changes they have tried to make is stripping back what physical activity means, losing connotations of hard and heavy exercises to just getting people moving more, making it ‘as simple as possible’ for people to become active.
Physical activity will also be built into recovery plans as part of the care pathway. A workshop is being held to further define the strategy, with more than 200 people involved.