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Commonwealth Games in Glasgow fail to inspire more people to exercise

Glasgow Commonwealth Games sign

Last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has had virtually no impact on the amount of physical activity undertaken by people in Scotland, according to newly-published figures published.

Only 1 per cent of adults said they were now engaging in more sport or physical activity as a result of the Games, the 2014 Scottish Health Survey found, while 4 per cent said they were “thinking about” doing more.

Low levels of physical activity are the second biggest cause of mortality in Scotland, contributing to about 2,500 deaths a year. It was hoped that the Games would inspire the country to become more active, but so far they appear to have had little impact.

The survey, designed to provide a snapshot of the nation’s health, also found that the number of adults meeting the Government’s recommended guidelines for exercise has fallen slightly. Last year 63 per cent did 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, a 1 per cent decline on 2013.

Only a “small minority” of adults felt that the Games had influenced or changed their attitudes to sport, or their actual sporting behaviour, the survey found. The event had a more positive impact on younger adults’ behaviour than those aged over 44, it added.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health at the Scottish Government, said the survey’s results proved there was “still work to be done” to encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles. “The Scottish Government has a range of measures in place to encourage people to eat healthier diets, quit smoking, drink less alcohol and take more physical activity,” she added.