Sitting down is the most dangerous activity you can do, Brighton health conference is told

Delegates at the Active Sussex Conference (Photo: Submitted)
Delegates at the Active Sussex Conference (Photo: Submitted)

The conference, held at the American Express Stadium in Brighton on Tuesday, September 19, looked at the changing needs of individuals to be active throughout their lifetimes.

Themes of the day included listening to youth voice, making sure sport and activities are inclusive, and how exercise is a 'medical cure' and vital for people with long-term health conditions and older people.

Anthony Statham, Active Sussex’s Head of Operations, said: “We were delighted to welcome more than 80 delegates to the Active Sussex Conference 2023 for a morning of connecting, networking and learning.

“The event provided an opportunity for delegates to explore physical activity across a lifespan and consider inequalities and inclusivity throughout.”

The first session was led by Active Sussex’s Strategic Relationship Manager, Andy Wright, who looked at the provision for children and young people, particularly the importance of youth voice.

Three panellists joined in a discussion about how they incorporate youth voices into their activities. This included Zoe Ward, from Fit & Fab Families, Jade Hand from DanceHub CIC and Brighton Marina Studios, and Ali O’Boyle from South Coast Sports Coaching.

You can watch a video of part of the discussion here.

Gemma Finlay-Gray, Strategic Relationship Manager at Active Sussex, led the next session looking at the importance of considering inequalities and inclusivity when designing and running projects.

Breakout groups saw delegates discuss the importance of socioeconomic inequalities, gender inclusivity, accessibility, cultural sensitivity, mental health, and lifelong learning and how these can be addressed within their organisations.

Delegates were given a chance to showcase their work, and a talk by Ian Braid from Docia Sport, heard how rugby clubs are being used as community wellbeing hubs.

The last session of the day was led by Strategic Relationship Manager Ross Joannides, looking at the importance of people with long-term conditions and older people moving more.

Professor Scarlett McNally spoke about how ‘sitting down is the most dangerous activity you can do’ and how one hour a day of exercise is the 'miracle cure'.

Sir Muir Grey also spoke about the importance of the health instructor in supporting people to age well.

In the afternoon, a separate This Girl Can Sussex event, The Perinatal Period & Physical Activity Learning session, took place.

The session discussed research findings that showed only 25 per cent of pregnant women and new mums reach the recommended activity levels and how only 5 per cent of coaches and instructors are qualified to work with these women.

Guest speakers included Sarah Thorne, from the Active Pregnancy Foundation, This Girl Can ambassador Zoe Ward, and Katie McDougall, an NHS Public Health Nurse.

You can find out more about what was discussed at the This Girl Can Sussex session here.

Active Sussex is a not for profit charity, predominently funded by Sport England, which is working to get everyone in Sussex physically active and moving in a way that suits them.

You can find out more about Active Sussex here.