Today, Ordnance Survey (OS) release a short hard-hitting film in response to an Office for National Statistics report published last year that said for the first time since records began today’s children will not live as long as their parents. The film challenges people across the nation to not accept this by taking control of their health and well-being.
Nick Knowles, who narrates the film, said: “For the first time since records began today’s children’s life expectancy will be lower than their parents. In a developed country like our own that’s shocking. I don’t want that for my children, and it is something that we as parents, and as a society, need to address.
"We need to change our mindset to become more responsible for our own health and well-being and for the health and well-being of those around us. It doesn’t have to be an expedition up a mountain, it can be something simple you can build into your daily routine. You could try a 20-minute walk, go to the park, play frisbee, run around and get the heart working. Set an example to children and create those good habits that will last a lifetime.”
In March this year, Professor Greg Whyte became an OS GetOutside Champion, joining the OS initiative that aims to tackle rising inactivity in Great Britain.
Greg, who recently returned from helping a team of celebrities, including Little Mix, Ed Balls and Dan Walker scale Mount Kilimanjaro on another successful climb for Comic Relief, said “This film and what Ordnance Survey is trying to achieve has really struck a chord with me. Inactivity is one of the most potent contributing factors to our health. Activity is fundamental for quality and length of life.
"Taking small steps to exercise outdoors, whether it be a regular jog or a long walk every Sunday, naturally lifts your mood and will gradually have a positive impact on your physical and mental well-being. They key is to try to do more than you did yesterday. I’m delighted to be part of this initiative turn the nation’s health and fitness around.”
Managing Director of OS Leisure, Nick Giles, has been on a mission to get the nation active. His GetOutside initiative, created in 2015, is estimated to be getting one million people outdoors each month.
Nick said: “The outdoors is free. Walking, cycling or running in it is free. It’s a great place to be with friends or family. Or to be by yourself. It offers nature, well-being, peace, adventure, solitude, friendship, memories and more. So why are we not using it more?
“Public Health England research shows the cost to the NHS and social services of treating the consequent problems of inactivity – obesity, depression, heart problems etc – is around £7.4 billion a year. Us British are 20% less active than we were in the 1960s, and that figure is likely to double in the years ahead unless action is taken now. In 2016 there were 70,000 deaths as a direct result of too much time sitting rather than being active. We can change this if we just start taking better responsibility for ourselves.
“I have two small children who have the best times outside, so why are we cooping our kids up and consequently shortening their lives? I cannot stress it enough, the more we get active and get outside, the greater our opportunity to live longer, stay younger and enjoy life more is. We hope our film can act as a catalyst to inspiring children and their parents into not letting this depressing future happen.”
All over the country this spring and summer there are events, including OS’s National GetOutside Day Sunday Sept 29, that people can get involved in and active outdoors. See GetOutside events.