PREVENTABLE diseases caused by a lack of physical activity cost the NHS in Wales £35 million to treat in 2015, according to new analysis from Public Health Wales.

And new visual guides have been produced for health boards to help them support staff and patients to be more active, and to reduce the cost of treating diseases caused by sedentary lifestyles.

More than 30 per cent of adults in Wales spend less than half an hour a week being active.

But current guidelines indicate that people aged 18 or over need two and a half hours of moderate activity each week.

“Being more active can make you feel physically and mentally better, stop you getting ill, and help you to live longer,” said Robert Sage, principal health promotion practitioner at Public Health Wales.

“That is why we have produced guidance for NHS organisations in Wales to help them be more aware of the importance of encouraging and enabling patients and the public to be more active.

“We all need to support those who are inactive to take those first steps towards making being active a normal part of their everyday lives.

“NHS staff are well placed to raise the issue and pass on simple tips and advice to the public.

“We are asking all NHS organisations and staff to work together to do all they can to increase activity levels in Wales, to help prevent these chronic conditions.”

The figures for 2015 are based on the proportion in Wales of three common chronic health conditions - type two diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease, such as stroke - that could be prevented by patients being more active.