Council leaders have urged GPs to prescribe obese patients classes at leisure centres after research found it could increase life expectancy by four years.
A new report by the District Councils’ Network (DCN), produced alongside consultants from the University of East Anglia, revealed nearly a third of the UK currently does less than 30 minutes physical activity per week.
The report found prescribing leisure services to one million inactive people over the next decade could avoid nearly 50,000 preventable diseases and save the NHS more than £300m.
Healthy communities spokesperson for the DCN, Angie Dale, said: 'As we emerge from the pandemic, it is vital we embrace this as an opportunity to get the nation fit and healthy, and to continue protecting and supporting our NHS by preventing illness and disease where we can.
‘Our new report shows conclusively that local leisure centres can play a vital role in keeping people fit and prescribing these services to people can increase life expectancy by up to four years.’