It’s NICE to be right – Physical activity and the environment guidance

New guidance on Physical activity and the environment (PH90) was released in March by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This is the body which provides evidence based national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. It is not perfect about cycling when read in its entirety but the recommendations work well alongside NICE’s guideline on physical activity: walking and cycling. It has some great soundbites and does cover (amongst other things):

  • enabling as well as encouraging
  • ensuring activity is accessible for those with limited mobility
  • safe activity for children travelling to school
  • space reallocation
  • the need for networks
  • the need for maintenance
  • the cost of inactivity

We’ll be aiming to get a copy to people in planning, parks and highways locally, and trying to ensure local public health are engaged and then use the highlights when arguing for space reallocation. The guidance is aimed at:

  • Local authorities and metro mayors, including agencies contracted to deliver environmental changes for local authorities
  • Others responsible for open spaces used by the public such as in workplaces, community-owned gardens and playing fields
  • Housing, local enterprise partnerships and others responsible for the built environment
  • Public transport planners and providers
  • Organisations working to ensure people with limited mobility can be physically active

If you are not used to NICE guidance the key bits are usually under “Recommendations” though in this case the ‘putting it into practice’ and ‘context’ are also helpful. The committees discussions bit is disappointingly weak. It complements nicely the excellent Public Health England ‘Working together to promote public health”.

Strategies that encourage and enable

Cost of inactivity

Priority for walking and cycling

Maintenance and quality

Cycle Network

Children and Families