For World Mental Health Day, the Sport & Recreation Alliance highlighted the transformative impact of physical activity in an open letter to the leaders of all political parties in the UK. The aim was to call attention to the mental health crisis among young people, who often do not reach their recommended activity levels.
The letter looks at the following:
- Children and young people who are unfit and inactive on leaving school
- The mental health crisis has reached a record 21,555 urgent referrals in 2023
- Mass participation in physical activity events has a profound impact on mental health in adults and children
- Physical education and sport in secondary school has fallen 12% since the London Olympics
- Poor mental health costs up to £56 billion a year to businesses
- The Sport & Recreation Alliance already saves the NHS an estimated £9.5 billion in illness prevention
- Recent data shows that the UK ranks 11th out of 15 neighbouring European nations in activity levels.
The letter calls the government to action to build “…A lifetime of activity, leading to a happier, healthier population…” and that this should be embedded throughout our school years.
To find out more, see here.