There is a considerable amount of investment into physical activity in Greater Manchester at the moment with over £14 million investment committed into the area over the last 18 months. As part of this a public facing campaign to showcase how physical activity can fit into people’s lives; That Counts! has launched. As part of this an activity search tool has been added to the website so that anyone can find an activity that interests them.
We are passionate that everyone should have the opportunity to be active and we think that this tool is essential in helping people find an opportunity appropriate for them. To date we’ve focused on primarily working with Leisure Trusts to open their data in Greater Manchester with 6 out of the 12 providers having opened their data so far. However, these opportunities are not suited to everyone and we know outdoor opportunities are not yet well represented, despite the additional benefits for wellbeing of being outside.
According to a systematic review carried out by a team at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (2011)* outdoor natural environments may provide some of the best all-round health benefits by increasing physical activity levels with lower levels of perceived exertion, altering physiological functioning including stress reduction, restoring mental fatigue, and improving mood and self-esteem and perceived health.
On the back of Ordnance Survey’s #GetOutsideDay on 29th September we would like to invite our partners in Greater Manchester (GM) who coordinate outside activities, whether you are a walk for health coordinator, National Trust ranger, park manager, organised cycle lead, manage an outdoor activity centre, National Governing Body or an orienteering club, to encourage you to open your data. There is a workshop planned for 24th October that will provide you with more details of how to do this.
* J. Thompson Coon, K. Boddy, K. Stein, R. Whear, J. Barton, M. H. Depledge. Does Participating in Physical Activity in Outdoor Natural Environments Have a Greater Effect on Physical and Mental Wellbeing than Physical Activity Indoors? A Systematic Review. Environmental Science & Technology, 2011; 110203115102046 DOI: 10.1021/es102947t
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