On September 12th, members of Team Bigwave attended the ukactive National Summit. The theme was physical activity – a social solution. Their aim was to continue to leverage collective ambitions for a healthier nation and conquer the rise of sedentary inactivity blighting the UK.
The summit saw 700 decision makers and influencers from across the broad scope of fitness, health and wellbeing convene in the QEII Centre in London to examine the current health and fitness levels in the UK.
The conference served up plenty of food for thought across a huge range of important topics. Every Bigwave attendee left with very different visions but a shared incentive to make a difference in whatever way they could.
Lee Potter, Creative Director, described his first ukactive summit as ‘inspiring, particularly in terms of how the trust and private sector have grabbed the issues that are affecting communities and shaping the future for the better.’
Addressing generation inactive
Key themes of the day included:
- Using fitness as a preventative medicine, especially for conditions like type 2 diabetes
- Community disconnection and loneliness
- Child inactivity levels
‘I understand politics is about priorities, but how many bigger priorities can there be than the health of our nation?’ was one of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s takeaways. In her morning keynote speech, she referred to growing inactivity levels in children.
‘This is the least active generation ever, with evidence showing that inactive children become inactive adults at risk of a host of preventable diseases’.
Remedies to this issue included going beyond simply limiting screen time. Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, highlighted that there is a fundamental requirement to prescribe alternative activities to screen time and that screen time should be limited for parents too.
Improving park facilities was another solution offered up in Longfield’s keynote. Cleaner Toilets, improved supervision and interactive activities are all solutions that would encourage greater park use.
Disconnecting in a connected world
But there was more than just generational inactivity in the spotlight during the summit and it became clear just how broad a topic health and wellbeing truly is.
Bigwave were given some particular intellectual nourishment in the form of a promoting workplace health. We like to think we’re pretty clued up on workplace wellbeing. But there’s always room for improvement and our Head of Client Experience, Debbi Moore, described herself as ‘leaving the arena full of practical ideas on building physical activity into working life.’
‘I come away from the summit every year with elation and motivated that we, at Bigwave, are contributing to the Physical Activity agenda and that I am so proud to be involved with this sector. Making a difference to people’s lives is so important and crucial to the health of our nation and the future generations in the UK.’
Towards the end of the day, some Team Bigwaver’s headed to Alex Smith’s keynote Disconnecting in a Connected World, which looked at bridging the divide between fractured communities with a particular focus on loneliness.
CEO of The Cares Family, a community network group dedicated to combatting loneliness, Jones used his own experiences of assisting the elderly to facilitate his speech. But the premise was that all walks of life can feel alone, be it youngsters or the senior population.
It was a highly poignant keynote that left us all considering how we can make a difference to our neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances and friends.