Olympics alone will not deliver and increase in everyday physical activity

As Rio 2016 bids the world a fond farewell in its closing ceremony our President Dr Paul D Jackson takes a look at the Olympic Legacy and international sporting events’ ability to encourage an increase in every day physical activity.

National and international sporting events do an excellent job of raising awareness of the sporting and physical activity possibilities and we support the increase of physical activity in everyone’s day, some of which can be achieved through sport. However, major sporting events alone will not directly encourage enough people to meet CMO recommended physical activity levels. Alongside the vision of the IOC and the Olympic Legacy, additional action is needed from the NHS, the Government, education and other groups, including town planners, to encouraging a cultural change in our society to build increased physical activity into everyday life.

We can see this is beginning to be addressed via government initiatives such as Sporting Future – A New Strategy for an Active Nation and the Scottish Physical Activity Pathway. Added to this is the Government’s Five Year Forward View which calls for ‘a radical upgrade in prevention and public health’. Sport and Exercise Medicine has a unique skills base, developed from the latest advancements in sport and exercise, which can deliver cost effective healthcare based around the prevention and treatment of many common diseases and conditions. As part of the Olympic Legacy, the FSEM will continue to work with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, key government organisations and Royal Medical Colleges to encourage the delivery of exercise medicine skills, prescription and physical activity advice across the NHS.

Dr Paul D Jackson

President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK

(Image courtesy of Getty Images 2016)

Written by Dr Paul D Jackson at 16:30