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LIW 2014: Time for public health delivery action is now, says Stalker

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ukactive CEO David Stalker has said that now is the time for the physical activity sector to step forward and take action if it is to become a ‘central pillar of the nation’s public health strategy.’

During his keynote speech on the second day of Leisure Industry Week at Birmingham’s NEC, Stalker said the industry must begin to lay the foundations for growth by harnessing the knowledge gained from a broad range of recent research projects.

Having established the extent of the UK’s inactivity epidemic and the impact it is having on the NHS, Stalker believes the physical activity sector must now seize its chance to become a health delivery partner - an opportunity previously identified as being worth up to £8bn to the industry.

He identified five key areas where the sector must develop to harness its physical activity expertise and become a central tenet of public health delivery. These are:

Data and evaluation - By utilising the data already possessed and building on this to form a broad evidence base and illustrate the effectiveness of physical activity at all levels.

Training - Identify and plug skills gaps, particularly those posed by the challenges of public health delivery, such as mental health and disability.

Schools/children and young people - Developing a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to ensure physical activity becomes a lifestyle habit from an early age.

Technology - Harnessing the power of technology and placing it at the heart of strategy for growth, both by making it easier to book exercise online and utilising the existing data held by industry operators.

Developing active communities - Attracting the population to exercise facilities, but also thinking beyond these four walls to make physical activity more accessible and a key part of the community.

Stalker concluded by saying that if the physical activity sector can succeed in these five areas it will be ideally placed to become the centre of health delivery at both national and local levels, as well as in a strong position to attract investment.

Leisure Opportunities and sister title Health Club Management is live reporting from Birmingham for the entire event. Keep visiting for the latest LIW news and developments as they happen. - See more at:

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ukactive CEO David Stalker has said that now is the time for the physical activity sector to step forward and take action if it is to become a ‘central pillar of the nation’s public health strategy.’


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