According to the World Health Organisation, the leading cause of death worldwide is now non-communicable ‘lifestyle’ diseases, which killed 36 million people in 2008.
THE 'BIG FOUR' RISK FACTORS
4. Physical (in)activity
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, prevention programmes could avoid up to 40,000 deaths every year in England and up to 70,000 deaths if prevention strategies were developed and implemented.
WHAT ARE LIFESTYLE DISEASES?
- Heart disease
- Diabetes (type 2)
- Lung disease
- Mental ill health
“Contact with nature has been shown to reduce stress, pain, crime and aggression and improve community integration, children’s behaviour and a sense of pride in the community.
There is more direct evidence that greenspace in an urban environment can improve life expectancy and decrease health complaints.”
Around 35% of the UK's National Health budget is spent treating lifestyle diseases.*
But only 3.6% is spent on preventing them (40% of which is spent on pharmaceuticals).
Dr. William Bird, RSPB report Natural Fit (2004)
*Approximately 2.5% is spent on obesity, 3% on coronary heart disease, 4.5% on cancers, 10% on diabetes and 15% on cardiovascular disease.
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