Chronic Ill Health Associated with Lack of Physical Activity

Doctors will be given pedometers during a three day medical summit in Edinburgh this week (1-3 October) to highlight an epidemic of chronic ill health associated with low levels of physical activity in the UK. Specialists will be tracking their steps to build physical activity into their daily routine, as they learn about the latest developments in Physical Activity Medicine from high profile speakers at the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine and British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine Annual Conference ‘Walk 500 Miles’.

Professor Sir Harry Burns, well known in Scotland for his work on public health policy and public health protection, will address the evidence on social, psychological and economic barriers to physical activity in our society and discuss some of the methods which might be used to overcome those barriers.

Professor Karim Khan, Director of Research and Education at Aspetar the first specialised Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in the Gulf region and Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, is a strong advocate of physical activity medicine. Professor Khan will bring an international perspective to the session in his talk ‘How to get the message of physical inactivity/activity to society – what can we do as sport and exercise medicine clinicians?’

Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University, comments:  “Being active is, it has been said, the single most important thing you can do for your health. Yet, we are facing an epidemic of chronic ill health associated with low levels of physical activity. For many, physical activity involves a degree of discomfort. For those who find it easy to be active, the pleasure of being fit outweighs the discomfort of getting fit. However, it is clear that there are many barriers to physical activity in our society, and knocking down those barriers will require a deeper understanding of societies, what motivates us and how we can reduce inequalities in health.”

The speeches during the session Exercise the Way Forward will be held at ‘Walk 500 Miles’ on Friday 3rd October at 11am in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, George Street.


Follow the conference live on Twitter using #walk500miles

For further information contact Beth Cameron, PR & Communications for the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine;

Email:, Tel: 0131 527 3498, Mobile: 07551903702