Midlanders are being urged to renew their New Year's resolutions following a new report into improving the public's level of physical activity.
Nearly two months after millions of people made promises to lose weight, quit smoking or exercise regularly, many have been broken - through a lack of health-sector support.
The Health Development Agency's review of existing research calls for healthcare professionals to encourage and support people at a local level.
The report has been produced by the HDA and the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group, the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity, and the South-east Public Health Observatory. By setting realistic, achievable goals and offering people more support, the report suggests the public's level of exercise would increase.
Julia Neall, practice development officer for the HDA West Midlands, said: "We are all aware of the fact that a lack of physical activity can have detrimental effects on our health, yet the problem persists. This report clearly sets out the argument for greater support from healthcare professionals to help people increase their level of physical activity, and a coordinated regionallyfocused approach is the best way to facilitate this."
It is recommended that people do 30 minutes of exercise, of at least moderate intensity, for five or more days a week. This can be anything from aerobics or swimming to gardening or brisk walking.
Maggie Rae, HDA's regional associate director, said: "The problems caused by a lack of physical activity are well known, but more action is required to actually address how to turn the situation around and get people to be more physically active." Six new studies are included within the report, which include three reviews of healthcare settings which highlight that GP advice and supporting literature can help improve activity levels.
Exercise at home plans also proved to be successful, either with log books to self-monitor progress, and telephone support from an advisor.