Sunderland inactivity costs £66million as city listed among worst for lack of exercise

editorial image
Have your say

SUNDERLAND slobs are contributing to a £66million public health bill each year – ranking the city sixth from the bottom of the UK’s 150 most inactive places to live.

According to a report by campaign group ukactive, lack of exercise cost £24.25million per 100,000 people living in Sunderland leading to 336 early deaths.

In the 2011 census, the city’s population was estimated at 275,300, meaning that the financial burden of inactivity comes in at a hefty £66.76million per year and kills 925 people prematurely.

The report said 37 per cent of Sunderland residents were inactive – which they classed as someone who does less than 30 minutes of “moderate intensity physical activity” per week over a 28-day period.

This compared to 25 per cent in Newcastle, despite both cities having the same levels of socio-economic deprivation. The North East average was 30.49 per cent – well below the national average of 28.95 per cent.

The groups chairman Fred Turok said: “This report clearly shows the rising issue of physical inactivity. It is the first time that the scale and impact of inactivity has been established in this way and provides compelling evidence for establishing it as a public health concern in its own right.”

Council chiefs insist they are tackling the problem, claiming the number of people taking up exercise is on the risen– although still below the national average. The Echo also reported how Sport England handed out £200,000 to get more Wearsiders involved in sport.

Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture at Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland’s commitment to increasing levels of participation in physical activity, leisure and sport is demonstrated through continued investment in facilities and programmes in place across the community to encourage more people to become more active and make more uses of our many parks and open spaces.

“Based on the latest figures from Sport England, the number of people in Sunderland taking part in regular physical activity and sport has actually increased to only slightly behind the regional and national average.”