Personal trainers in job centres could solve two problems at once


Britain's Jobcentre Plus offices should soon feature their own in-house personal trainers alongside expert advisors.

That's according to one thinktank, which has called for more to be done to help jobseekers get physically active and fit.

Noting that physical inactivity is "one of the UK's greatest-ever social challenges", the lobbying group ukactive has argued that job centres are the perfect place to address this, particularly as a sizeable proportion of their users need to get in shape as well as find paid work.

GB athlete backs efforts to help people get fit and into work

Given this, the report recommends that, as well as GP surgeries having access to personal trainers and dietary coaches, Jobcentre Plus offices should also offer special programmes designed to get unemployed people and those on benefits get active and in better shape.

"If you're unemployed you're less likely to be physically active and more prone to mental health problems and low self-esteem," explained Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, a former international athlete who has put her weight behind this new initiative.

"Support from an exercise professional could be the key to breaking that cycle and getting people physically and mentally ready to return to the workforce."

At present, it's estimated that around one third of British adults to no physical activity at all, while many more do little more than walk to and from work or the local shops, something that is costing the NHS and the rest of UK society dear.

Indeed, the latest studies suggest that physical inactivity is to blame around 37,000 premature deaths each year, with the issue also reportedly costing the UK economy some £20 billion annually.

Meanwhile, Jobcentre Plus staff are also setting themselves up in food banks across the UK as they look to reach out to benefits claimants and help them find a way back into paid work. 



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