Annual public health report for Harrow calls for people to get more active

This Is Local London: Harrow's new director of public health Dr Andrew Howe has challenged people to get moving Harrow's new director of public health Dr Andrew Howe has challenged people to get moving

Getting people moving is the top priority for Harrow's new director of public health.

Dr Andrew Howe, who has recently been appointed joint director of public health for Barnet and Harrow, released his first report today.

According to figures from Harrow Borough Council, only one in three people in the area were active during the 2011/2012 year, which has led to physical activity to becoming the first priority for the director.

He said: "I have taken physical activity as the theme of this report for a number of reasons.

"Firstly so many people have increasing sedentary lives, driving short distances to save time; sitting on sofas watching TV - often watching programmes about the sport we could be taking part in.

“Obesity is on the increase in both children and adults and along with it increasing rates of diabetes; our children are the least active generation that we know of, preferring to play on their computers than go outside and play with friends.”

In the report he points out physical activity not only prevents death in the long run but also helps with a variety of health issues, including heart health, lowering cancer risks and mental health.

It looks at the work currently being done in Harrow to get more people active and what can be done to encourage more people of all ages to take part.

In the report, Dr Howe challenges people to get active.

Those interested in taking part have to set themselves an easy specific goal, such as a 15-minute walk each day, and keep a note of when they do it.

People can enter in their activity plan to the public health department at the council at publicheath@harrow.gov.uk and the most inspiring stories will receive an prize at the Public Health Awards in the summer.

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