Sports vital in getting boys off the sofa

60 public health and physical activity specialists attended a symposium in London where they examined ways to get more men and boys away from the tv, computer games and social networking to beat obesity and heart disease.

Peter Baker, Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum, said: “We need to get more boys active by moving their competitive energy from the computer screen to the sports field.”

“Already only about half of all young men are getting enough exercise to benefit their health so we cannot afford lose the facilities and encouragement that get boys and young men playing sports. At this symposium, we have heard about some fantastic work that’s getting men back in to being active but it is almost certainly harder if they did not develop the habit of exercising when they were younger.”

Professor Richard Parish, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health said “Sports and all sorts of physical activity are vital in preventing obesity which is a cause of heart disease and cancer.”

“School sports are vital in helping many boys stay fit and in getting them involved in competitive sports. If they do not start at that age there is less chance of them starting later in life.”

The symposium follows this year’s National Men’s Health Week which focused on getting more men more active and how health services and sports facilities can work together to improve men’s health.

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