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Millions of people with long-term health conditions to get physically active

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Sport England has partnered with a group of health charities from The Richmond Group to create a series of projects that could improve the health of millions of people with long-term health conditions.

A total of £1.3m of National Lottery funding has been made available for a range of projects, which aim to prevent and manage conditions such as cancer, diabetes, lung disease and mental illness.

It is estimated that more than a third of the population – around 15 million people – in England live with one or more common long-term health conditions and people with these types of conditions are much less likely to do physical activity.

Studies have shown they experience more barriers to being physically active, from physical symptoms such as pain, tiredness, and breathlessness, to a lack of knowledge about what types of activity would be suitable for them and a fear of hurting themselves.

The funding will allow the charities to address the barriers holding people with long-term health conditions back from being active.

The programmes will be delivered by the likes of Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Breast Cancer Now, Diabetes UK and the Stroke Association.

Alzheimer’s Society will develop a Dementia Friendly Guide that will provide the physical activity sector with resources and knowledge to enable their organisations, services and facilities to become more ‘dementia friendly’ and support more people living with dementia to become physically active.

Meanwhile, Age UK will reach out to older people who are not physically active at the moment to understand what would help them to change this.

"Exercising when you have a long-term health condition can be hugely beneficial to your mental and physical wellbeing but it can also be daunting," said Jennie Price, Sport England CEO.

“Sport England has chosen to work with the leading health charities to help people get active, because the charities already have the confidence of the people living with long-term health conditions. Together we want to help people answer those questions they might have about which activities are suitable, or how much exercise they should do for example.

“We are committed to sharing what we learn about how to help people get active, and think this has real potential to help people lead happy, healthier lives.”

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Sport England has partnered with a group of health charities from The Richmond Group to create a series of projects that could improve the health of millions of people with long-term health conditions.
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