Masterplan to increase fitness

Sheffield park runners - including Dr Ollie Hart, wearing the green top - in action.
Sheffield park runners - including Dr Ollie Hart, wearing the green top - in action.
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A campaign to boost fitness levels among Sheffield residents is gathering pace as work starts on a masterplan to transform the local area into the country’s ‘city of physical activity’.

The project, called Move More, was set up to create a lasting legacy after the 2012 Olympics, and a number of activities have already taken place around Sheffield, including the launch of a 5k run at Manor Fields Park.

But now members of influential organisations, including Sheffield City Council, NHS and universities are beginning to draw up a Move More Plan, which will set out ways of increasing physical activity across all districts.

The consultation comes after Sheffield was allocated £10 million to develop one of three locations for a National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Dr Ollie Hart, from the Sloan Medical Centre in Heeley, chairs the group leading the project.

He said: “The plan will chart the critical activity that needs to take place to create a culture of physical activity within the communities, workplaces and residents of Sheffield.”

The doctor has supported calls for adults to follow official recommendations by taking moderate exercise three times a week, after a study which found 80 per cent of adults in England are not meeting the target.

“This is a major concern,” Dr Hart said.

“Sedentary lifestyles have long been linked with chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

“We are lucky to live in Sheffield which has so many great sporting and leisure venues and would encourage people to get out and make the most of them.”

Dr Hart added: “So many of the pressures of life – time, money, safety, access to facilities – make it difficult to be active.

“The Move More team are tackling that issue by working in partnership with all communities in the city.”

An event to launch the consultation is happening at the City Hall next Wednesday afternoon, where discussions will take place about the content of the plan.