If you are reading this there is a good chance that you are among the 20 million people in the UK who are physically inactive, at least that is according to figures recently released by the British Heart Foundation.

Physically inactive people end up costing the UK health service as much as £1.2billion, according to the report.

Government guidelines say you are inactive if you do less than 150 minutes exercise per week.

The British Heart Foundation report, published earlier this month, found: “The average man in the UK spends a fifth of their lifetime sitting - the equivalent of 78 days each year. For women this is around 74 days a year.” The crisis spreads across the country, but in Richmond the council has taken steps to stop the problem.

Councillor Meena Bond, Richmond council cabinet member for sport, said: “There are more than 200 sports clubs with an estimated 32,500 members and Richmond Council provides superb sports facilities which have swimming pools and gyms and have an annual attendance which exceeds one million visits.

“This investment is paid off when you see that our residents live the longest in the UK and our obesity levels our low.

“But we won’t rest on our laurels and we will continue to strive to increase residents’ participation in sport.”

“We know from Sport England surveys that over 50 per cent of Richmond residents, over 14 years old, take part in at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least once a week.”

In statistics provided by Greenwich council, 43.9 per cent of borough children in year six are overweight or obese.

However, PE teachers say healthy lifestyles should be encouraged from a young age to ensure excellence.

Ryan Creighton, a student teacher at St Columba’s in Bexleyheath, south east London, said physical education in schools is more important now than ever to provide a basis for a healthy lifestyle.

He, with a team of colleagues, will lead a group of students from across south London and Kent at an international football tournament.

He said: “The opportunity to play district football enables players to develop further, in times of a youth-obesity crisis among inner-city children it is a welcome addition to the sporting opportunities children in London and across the country receive.

“District football is set up and run predominantly by PE teachers and highlights the importance of physical education in providing opportunity for extra-curricular sport.

“For many children, their two hours of PE at school each week are the only exercise they will undertake so the more PE departments can take responsibility for promoting out of school activities, the better.”

The North Kent District U'15 Football team represented their country at an international football tournament in Le Portel, France over the Easter weekend.

They played against opposition from Russia, Belgium, Romania, France and Scotland.

Ryan said that a good physical education opens opportunities such as playing tournaments abroad.

He added: “The tournament is the culmination of four years of hard work and determination from the students and coaching staff, having won two Kent cups previously.”