GPs will be encouraged to prescribe cycling to patients as part of new Government plans to tackle obesity.
The scheme is set to be announced later today as part of the Government’s ‘biggest initiative to encourage more people to take up exercise’ – driven by Public Health England research which shows being overweight puts people at greater risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19.
It will be piloted in areas identified as having poor health and physical activity rates, with a view to a nationwide expansion if successful.
The plans are also expected to encourage GP surgeries to participate in bicycle schemes, to make cycling easier and cheaper to take up.
According to the Guardian, Government officials say one of the key challenges will be to make people feel safer on bikes in busy urban areas.
This, they accept, will mean spending huge sums on segregated cycle lanes and secure cycle parking as well as developing low-traffic neighbourhoods.
A government spokesperson said: “Covid-19 has given us all a wake-up call [on] the immediate and long-term risks of being overweight, and the prime minister is clear we must use this moment to get healthier, more active and eat better.”