Greg, who has just returned from helping the likes of Little Mix, Ed Balls and Dan Walker scale Mount Kilimanjaro on another successful climb for Comic Relief, has been named as a GetOutside champion by OS.
This week he is appearing in the BBC’s 24-hour danceathon, supporting Strictly Come Dancing presenters’ Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly get through the gruelling challenge.
Sports scientist and TV personality Professor Greg Whyte is the latest outdoors enthusiast to join forces with Ordnance Survey (OS) as part of its GetOutside campaign.
The GetOutside campaign is designed to tackle rising inactivity in Great Britain by helping people to get outside more often and improve their physical and mental health.
The former Olympian, who masterminded Eddie Izzard’s 43 marathons in 51 days and David Walliams’ famous swim across the English Channel among 30 other celebrity challenges, joins an army of 60 GetOutside champions dotted around Britain already committed to the cause.
Greg said: "Ordnance Survey’s GetOutside campaign and what it is trying to achieve to get the nation active struck a chord with me.
"What we absolutely know is that inactivity is one of the most potent contributing factors that affects 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 health.
"I’m delighted to be part of this effort to help turn the nation’s health around."
Greg outlined four key inactivity statistics affecting the British population today:
- 63% of the UK population fail to reach the Govt. guidelines for physical activity for health;
- A quarter of the UK adult population do less than 30 minutes of physical activity in a week (Government guidelines recommended 30 minutes on most days of the week; 150 minutes per week);
- Physical inactivity alone accounts for 16% of all deaths in men and women;
- Inactivity carries the same risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease as smoking and is twice as deadly as obesity.
Managing Director of OS Leisure, Nick Giles, said: "According to Public Health England, 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. People in Britain 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.
"Here at OS we want to show how the outdoors can be enjoyable, accessible and safe. The more people who get out there, the more people will live longer, stay younger and enjoy life more."
Notes to editors
Ordnance Survey first launched the GetOutside campaign in 2015.
Current GetOutside champions include TV adventurer and broadcaster Ben Fogle, endurance adventurer and motivational speaker Sean Conway, and paralympian athlete Mel Nicholls.