LONDON, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Today's British people are "the least active generation in history" and that lack of exercise is leading to around 37,000 premature deaths a year, according to a parliamentary report published on Tuesday.
Published by the All Party Commission on Physical Activity, the report calls for radical changes to "turn back the toxic tide of inactivity," including altering the way schools are run to ensure that children take more exercise, and changes in town and transport planning in order to make it easier for people to make more journeys on foot or by bicycle.
"Physical inactivity leads to around 37,000 premature deaths a year - a number that is more than all deaths from murder, suicide and accident combined," The report read. "Lack of physical activity is estimated to double the rate of absenteeism at work, and to cost the UK economy billions every year."
According to the report, just half of seven-year-olds are meeting government recommendations to have an hour's moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, with levels of activity halving again between the age of nine and 15. More than a third of adults also fail to meet daily recommended levels.
Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, said, "Today's children are the least active generation in history."
"They also might be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. That's not progress, that's moving backwards, and physical inactivity may be a bigger culprit than we think," Coe said.