Cycle Industry News)
Mark Sutton12 April, 2018
An evidence-based call to action by medical experts to end a “42-year trend” of car domination is gaining traction, with the authors calling on the UK Government to drive a change in transport habits.
Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the authors outline the consequences of not getting tough on childhood obesity, something their studies tie to sedentary travel habits.
An accompanying letter – mailed to UK transport ministers Chris Grayling, Humza Yousaf, Ken Skates and Karan Bradley – calls for dedicated funding of “at least 10% of the national transport budgets to pay for infrastructure interventions supported by a behaviour change programme.”
This is not a new proposal having previously been presented by the Association of Directors of Public Health as long ago as 2008, endorsed by over 100 concerned academic, health, transport and other organisations.
What the latest call to action does pull into focus is the sharp decline in children’s mobility since the 1970s when statistics were first gathered.
“This reflects the fact that across these four decades politicians and highway engineers have planned for increased car use. So that is what has resulted,” write the authors. “Yet, across the same period we have accumulated much greater scientific evidence for the health impacts of this decline in physical activity. The importance of routine physical activity, such as active travel, for heart health, weight management, and mental well-being are just three of the myriad aspects of health gain which are now routinely denied to children.”