14th January 2014

One day to enter the challenge to encourage active lifestyles

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With only one day left to enter our latest GeoVation Challenge, I thought it would be a good time to remind you of why we launched a challenge calling for innovative ideas which encourage people to lead active lifestyles in the open.Photo of woman gardening

An All-Party Commission on Physical Activity state on their website “The human body was designed to move. But in a very short period of time, we have become dangerously inactive as a population. We are witnessing a physical  inactivity epidemic”.

The estimated direct cost of this physical inactivity to the NHS across the UK is £1.06 billion and by 2050 the estimated total annual cost to the NHS of overweight and obesity is projected to be £9.7 billion, with wider societal cost estimated at £49.9 billion (at 2007 prices)

Regular physical activity is a key contributor to energy balance, helping to prevent obesity and excess weight. It also reduces the risk of many chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions. In the UK, if all inactive people were to become active, 10.5% of Cardiac Heart Disease cases could potentially be prevented

Some of the members of our judging panel who will be choosing the finalists to attend GeoVation Camp have explained why they are supporting this GeoVation Challenge

Andy Middleton, Chair, told us how he sees the challenge for our times is focussed not on building more access points toImage of surfing wave the outdoors (though they’re always welcome), but to work on the neural wiring that makes pulse-raising exercise or mind-quietening stillness the natural thing to do.

Andrew Adams pointed out that over-focussing on competitive sport, is ultimately self-defeating and perhaps reinforces the perception that doing sporting activity and adopting an active lifestyle is a difficult and often unachievable choice. It really shouldn’t be a choice, but something that should be thought of as akin to a right or an entitlement as part of a good life.

Gwenda Owen, shared her passion to encourage active lifestyles in Britain and explained how living without a car and working across Wales means that an active lifestyle is a lifestyle she’s chosen which makes her feel alive. For the last six years she’s been working directly to help enable others to experience some of what outdoor activity can offer.

Please take a moment to read through these guest blogs again to remember what they said and if you have an idea for the GeoVation Challenge, please don’t miss your chance to enter the GeoVation Challenge online.  The challenge closes tomorrow 15 January 2014 at 12 noon.

As with previous GeoVation Challenges we are looking for great ideas which address the problems using geography, technology and good design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 to help develop ventures that make best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data to solve problems.