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Getting Yorkshire and Humber active after Covid-19

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Posted 8th March 2021

Policy Yorkshire, the think tank for the Yorkshire and Humber region, is today launching a call for evidence on how to support people to become more active and access sport across the region as part of its recovery from the pandemic.

Research has shown that many people are active in Yorkshire and The Humber, and before the pandemic levels of activity were increasing. However, there are massive inequalities with those on low incomes and disabled people especially finding it difficult to be active on a regular basis. This is a having a serious impact on people’s mental and physical health.

With obesity a clear risk factor in contracting COVID-19 and lockdown having caused significant mental health problems, there has never been a more important time to be active. Indications over the past year suggest that people have found it more difficult to be so. There are especially serious concerns at the impact that remote learning and staying at home has had on the ability of children to access opportunities to be active through school and general play.

An expert working group is today launching a call for evidence for those with an interest in the issue asking how to ensure sport and physical activity plays a full part towards healthy, prosperous and connected communities across Yorkshire and The Humber.

With the latest global evidence suggesting that there are eight policy areas that can help support people to be active, including physical education at school, good urban planning to support physical activity and clear public messaging, the group is keen to hear from respondents on the following  points:

  • What works well and not so well now in Yorkshire and The Humber in supporting and encouraging physical activity?
  • What opportunities are there to re-shape our physical, social and economic environment to better improve levels of physical activity?
  • How might we describe and measure future success in achieving these policies in Yorkshire and The Humber?
  • What are the policies that matter most to support people in Yorkshire and The Humber to be as active as they can be?

Policy Yorkshire will develop a series of proposals for the region’s local authorities and Mayors along with central government.

Commenting, the chair of the expert group, Nigel Harrison, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Sport Foundation, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the need for good physical and mental wellbeing into sharp focus. Boosting physical activity across our region can play a major part in helping it to recover from the impact of the pandemic through improving public health.

“We want to gather evidence and ideas as to what tools are needed to bring about a fundamental shift in the level of physical activity across the region.  I urge all those with an interest to provide their ideas, and shape what will be an important report in supporting the future wellbeing of those living in Yorkshire and The Humber.”

Policy Yorkshire is seeking written submissions in response to these questions of no longer than 2,000 words by 5pm on Friday 16 April.

You can submit responses at policyyorkshire.org or send them to  admin@policyyorkshire.org.

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