The Ramblers said walking is one of the best ways to get active

The Ramblers said walking is one of the best ways to get active

The Ramblers welcomed the announcement of a £40m boost to increasing physical activity announced by the Big Lottery Fund.

The walking charity said the cash could help get more people on their feet in the outdoors.

Simon Barnett, director of walking programmes at the Ramblers said: “This announcement of further investment into increasing physical activity, such as walking, is very welcome.

“Support of this kind is essential if we are to reverse current trends and truly tackle the high levels of inactivity in this country, and the problems that result.

“Walking, which has so many proven health benefits, is one of the best ways to do this: it is an affordable, accessible and enjoyable form of exercise and we’ve seen first-hand, through Big Lottery Funded projects like Ramblers Get Walking Keep Walking, the difference it can make to people’s lives.

“We look forward to seeing many more projects working in local communities to promote walking in the future.”

The new Wellbeing funding will be channelled into initiatives that increase physical activity, improve eating habits and tackle mental health across the country, including targeting areas, groups and people experiencing the starkest health inequalities.

A 20-year study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revealed that the UK compares poorly with other European countries in terms of sickness and healthy life expectancy, and urges ‘additional concerted action’, including improved early intervention and treatment activities for major diseases and cancers.

Additional research published today by the National Lottery Good Causes reveals that the biggest obstacles to looking after health and wellbeing are lack of time and cost.

Forty-five per cent of people in the UK said they don’t have the time in their busy schedule to look after their health and wellbeing while 38 per cent say lack of money is a barrier.

The funding will build on the Wellbeing projects funded through the Big Lottery Fund over the past five years include working with children and families to improve healthy eating during and after school and reduce obesity; programmes for over 50s including those with serious illness to improve fitness and well-being; and encouraging people in disadvantaged areas to adopt healthier lifestyles and improve their knowledge through community-based health projects.

Big Lottery Fund England chair Nat Sloane, said: “Our £40m comes at a crucial time as recent research highlights cost is a barrier for many people when it comes to looking after their health and wellbeing.

“It will build on a range of free initiatives that we have funded in the last five years which target people in deprived communities and have been proven to work well. It will directly help hundreds of thousands to lead a healthier lifestyle and become more active.”

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