Government launches parliamentary group for running
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Government launches parliamentary group for running

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Last week saw the launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for running - further demonstration that exercise is beginning to become a policy priority.

By partnering with Run Group, parkrun and other running organisations, the APPG wants to encourage people to start the simple exercise, the primary focus being on running to and from work, or while at work.

More than 100 different people from a range of sporting, business and political backgrounds attended the launch, including representatives from, Virgin Trains, BT, Morrison’s and the NHS.

APPG chair, Alistair Burt MP, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Run Group to play a part in making this a healthier, fitter country by raising the profile of running with MPs, opinion formers and in our constituencies. Running is a simple and easy way to get fit and we also want to get that message through to business, because there is a connection between a healthier, more active workforce and people living more productive lifestyles.”

The APPG is encouraging people to tweet examples of their workplace running using the hashtag #myworkruns and they want employers to pledge their support through public statements of what they will do in 2015.

The launch of the running group just weeks after the first ever Parliamentary Debate on physical activity reflects the fact that MPs are becoming more committed to reversing physical inactivity levels in the UK.

It has been suggested that the health and fitness industry could also sign up to this initiative to support its own staff in active commuting and running while at work. Similarly, health clubs could run programmes encouraging people to take up running and building them up to running to work.

David Stalker, chief executive of ukactive, which has campaigned to get physical inactivity on the government agenda, welcomed this initiative. "Improving the health of our nation must be a collaborative effort and running is a cost-free, easy way in which people can improve their health and fitness," he said.

"The health and fitness industry, particularly gyms, leisure centres, and outdoor operators, already provide a great rallying point for people who might be interested in running to meet like-minded people to get out there and give it a go.

"By creating partnerships with the physical activity sector, runners have an already established community and expert support network. A great example of this is the way we worked with Fitness First on the research and development that resulted in the Home Run Initiative, which provides the framework for commuters to run home from work."

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