Being physically active is one of the most important things someone can do for their health.

If physical activity were a drug, we would refer to it as a miracle cure, due to the great many illnesses it can prevent and help treat.”

Famously quoted by the UK Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

Regular physical activity provides a range of physical and mental health, and social benefits, many of which are increasingly becoming issues for individuals, communities and wider society. These include:

  1. Reducing the risk of many long-term health conditions
  2. Helping to manage existing conditions
  3. Ensuring good musculoskeletal health
  4. Developing and maintaining physical and mental function and independence
  5. Supporting social inclusion
  6. Helping maintain a healthy weight
  7. Reducing wider inequalities contributing to ill-health

Conversely, physical inactivity is the fourth greatest cause of ill health in the UK creating negative impacts on health, social and economic outcomes. In Hertfordshire, over a quarter (26%) of our adult population are considered ‘inactive’ meaning that they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity (such as walking) per week. We also know that half of this group are doing no physical activity at all – that's 146,000 completely sedentary adults! This is also reflected in Hertfordshire’s children and young people with 28% considered inactive (less than 30 minutes a day) and less than half (48%) meeting the national guidelines of 60+ a day.

The HSP Physical Activity for Health & Wellbeing team target four areas of development to improve the populations health through physical activity. These are:

  • Active Ageing
  • Mental Health
  • Long-term Health Conditions
  • Weight Management

Activity Finder

Search for ways to be active in your local area and at home.

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Woman exercising with barre

Mental Health

Learn how physical activity can help mental health conditions.

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Women at support network group

Long-Term Health Conditions

Learn how physical activity can help long-term health conditions.

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Woman in a wheelchair

Get in touch…

If you have any questions, please email our Strategic Lead for Health: