At ukactive our central mission is simple: getting more people, more active, more often. There’s a simple reason for that; regular physical activity is nothing less than a silver bullet in battling the health challenges Britain faces. Our work therefore surrounds championing physical activity whenever we can, and encouraging as many people as possible to get active.
I certainly believe it’s having an effect. ukactive’s National Fitness Day last year got over a million people moving, making it the most active day of the year. People are also becoming more active (although we still have a long way to go) and wider statistics back this trend. In 2016, there were 229,400 more people getting regular physical activity than the previous year and the number of women doing regular physical activity in England reached an all-time high of 7.21 million.
Though this success is great news and should be celebrated (and built upon), more people getting active and taking an interest in their fitness inevitably means more people could be at risk of coming into contact with fake supplement products.Of particular concern are those containing DMAA, which has been linked to several health problems and is illegal in the UK.
So, alongside promoting the enormous benefits of physical activity, ukactive will look to work with organisations like the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to ensure that the public is supplied with the best information possible regarding legal supplements. Not only is it important to ensure the public has access to information regarding the risks surrounding illegal products – both those containing DMAA and other fake and illicit medications – but also to importantly differentiate between these and legitimate sports supplements that are safe and from a reputable source. It is also vital that individuals understand how and why people end up taking these products, to ensure their use does not spread.
With the growth of the digital world bringing products from across the globe to our door with a simple click, we as a sector are committed to supporting both awareness and education around performance supplements. This is in total alignment with our vision for safe and fun physical activity to form the cornerstone of healthy lifestyles as we move towards a more active Britain.