A NEW physical activity strategy has been launched in Northumberland, aimed at encouraging every resident in the county to be more active.

According to figures provided by Northumberland County Council, almost three in every 10 people are classified as inactive due to challenges associated with the rurality of the county, access to services, and higher levels of social and economic deprivation.

This means they do not achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity in a week, which includes walking, cycling or any kind of exercise which increases the heart rate.

Driven by Northumberland Sport, the lead organisation for physical activity in the county, a plan aimed at supporting residents to overcome the challenges they face has been drawn up.

This involved the county council; Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust; Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group; Active Northumberland and other community organisations.

A launch event to mark the strategy was held at Macdonald Linden Hall Golf and Country Hotel, near Morpeth, and hosted by BBC Look North presenter and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, Carol Malia.

Lee Sprudd, director of Northumberland Sport said: “Inactivity is a complex issue and changing behaviours is at the heart of this strategy – but there are no quick solutions, which is why tackling inactivity should be everyone’s business.

“Activity levels can fluctuate significantly at different stages of people’s lives for a variety of reasons, which is why this strategy has adopted a life course approach, recognising the significant benefits of tackling inactivity across all ages.”

Coun. Cath Homer, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said: “We firmly believe that our residents should be able to enjoy physical activity, whatever their circumstances or abilities.

“Northumberland offers so many fantastic opportunities for an active lifestyle with a beautiful coastline and countryside and sports centres with highly trained staff.”

More detail on the plan is available online at www.moreactiveforlife.co.uk