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Sedentary lifestyles cost NHS Wales £35m a year

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The NHS in Wales spent £35m (US$46.2m, €39.1m) treating preventable diseases caused by physical inactivity in one year, according to the latest analysis.

A breakdown shows that during 2015, sedentary lifestyles cost £12m (US$15.8m, €13.4m) in treating coronary heart disease, £10m (US$13.2m, €11.2m) for cerebrovascular disease and £12.8m (US$16.9m, €14.3m) for diabetes treatments.

According to findings published by Public Health Wales, more than 30 per cent of the three million adults in Wales spend fewer than 150 minutes each week taking part in moderate to vigorous activity, as recommended by the UK chief medical officers’ guidelines.

On the back of the research, the agency has produced visual guides for its seven health boards to help staff support patients to be more active and reduce the cost of treating diseases caused by sedentary lifestyles.

The guides encourage health bodies to support staff and the public to walk or cycle to NHS sites, train employees to have the confidence and knowledge to talk about being active with patients and colleagues, and integrate activity into all chronic disease pathways.

They also advise healthcare professionals to learn more about the benefits of exercise and to build physical activity into their own lives.

“Being more active can make you feel physically and mentally better, stop you getting ill, and help you to live longer,” said Robert Sage, principal health promotion practitioner at Public Health Wales.

“We all need to support those who are inactive to take those first steps towards making being active a normal part of their everyday lives. NHS staff are well placed to raise the issue and pass on simple tips and advice to the public.”

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The NHS in Wales spent £35m (US$46.2m, €39.1m) treating preventable diseases caused by physical inactivity in 2015, according to latest analysis by the country’s public health agency.
Over 30 per cent of adults in Wales spend less than 150 minutes each week taking part in moderate to vigorous activity

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