South East Wales

Regular exercise 'could prevent deaths' in south Wales

Health board staff taking part in a recent Walk@Work event in Baglan Image copyright ABMU health board
Image caption Health board staff taking part in a recent Walk@Work event in Baglan

Nearly one in five of all deaths in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend county could be prevented if people were more active, a health board has said.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg wants to encourage the 500,000 people who live in its area to exercise regularly.

It is hosting an event on Monday to discuss a new strategy for local organisations.

It includes holding walking meetings instead of boardroom meetings.

The board said physical activity levels in adults and children in the three counties are "worryingly" low, with one in three people leading an almost sedentary lifestyle.

  • In Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend county, only 57% of adults report doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week
  • 32% are considered inactive, doing fewer than 30 minutes exercise a week
  • Only 36% of children do enough exercise

What we should be doing:

  • Guidelines advise that adults should do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
  • Or you should do 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise
  • Children should aim for 60 minutes of moderate and vigorous activity every day
  • Pre-school children are sufficiently active if they are moving for 300 minutes daily
  • For all age groups, strength and flexibility are also very important
  • Time spent sitting should be minimised
Image copyright PA

Sara Hayes, ABMU's director of public heath, said: "Nearly one in five of all deaths in the ABMU area could be prevented if everybody moved enough.

"We were made to be active and being active is a natural and healthy thing to do. The problem is that physical activity levels are far too low and they have not increased for over 10 years."

She said the new Promise to Move More strategy is aimed at building regular exercise into everyday lives.

It includes things like scrapping 'keep off the grass' and 'no ball games' signs to encourage outdoor play, to supporting walking meetings where staff go for a brisk walk for a discussion instead of sitting around a table.

The event on Monday takes place at Swansea University Bay Campus at 13:00 BST.

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