Don't just sit watching the football...

The NHS in our region's encouraging men to be inspired by their World Cup football heroes and get in shape.

It's part of Men's Health Week which says simple physical activity like walking, using the stairs or DIY can make a difference to their fitness.

Our increasingly busy lifestyles can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight and it is often extremely difficult to find time to get active.

As a region, we are becoming more overweight as a result.

NHS East of England and Change4Life are supporting national Men's Health Week which this year aims to encourage more men to take up a sport or physical activity and live a healthier life.

Dr Paul Cosford, Regional Director of Public Health, said: "Too many men are now physically inactive - currently, just 40 per cent of men say they are active at the levels recommended by the Chief Medical Officer."

"Significantly, there is a big drop in men’s activity levels after the age of 35; consequently obesity levels in men have risen sharply in recent years and the protection that physical activity gives against diabetes, heart problems and other diseases is often lost."

"Sporting events such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup are a great opportunity for men to be inspired to get up off the sofa and do some physical activity themselves, whether it’s a walk to the local shop or kicking a football about in a park with friends."

Men’s Health Week runs from 14-20 June and has three main objectives:

• To encourage more men to become more physically active - for example walking, using the stairs, gardening, dancing, recreational cycling, DIY
• To improve male participation in sport
• To develop the potential of sports settings (for example stadia, leisure centres) for delivering health services and campaigns to men.

The Change4Life campaign aims to help us all, to eat well, move more and live longer.

Simple changes can make a difference and there are many local activities and initiatives that can provide families with the support they need to take those steps to healthier living.