Government Launches Physical Activity Scheme

Government Launches Physical Activity Scheme

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People playing cricket

‘Moving More, Living More’ is the government’s new initiative that aims to promote physical activity across the country and ensure a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. The campaign recognises that action on physical activity needs to be a long-term effort and is best tackled through a team approach by bringing together individuals and key organisations such as local authorities, businesses and employers.

The aim of ‘Moving More, Living More’ is not just about telling people to do more exercise; it is about providing opportunities for the nation to be active in ways that fit into their everyday lives.

Currently, only 56 per cent of adults meet the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week. 28.5 per cent of adults fail to achieve even 30 minutes of physical activity over seven days. Of great concern for the future health of young people is the fact that only 21 per cent of boys and 16 per cent of girls aged 5 – 15 achieve 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

Currently, only 56 per cent of adults meet the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week

People that regularly exercise reduce their risk of dying early by 30 per cent. Physical activity can lower your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by between 20 and 35 per cent. Those who are active for the recommended 150 minutes per week can halve their chances of getting type 2 diabetes. For children, higher intensity activities are great for growing bones and muscle.

Speaking at the launch earlier this month, Prime Minster, David Cameron, said: “The country was captured by the spirit of the 2012 Games, inspired by our sporting heroes and their many achievements. We now need to build on this, creating a nation that is physically active and improving their health in the long-term. We need to provide communities with the encouragement to come together and realise the physical and social benefits of being more active. Government, local government, business and community groups must now join together to help make this ambition a reality.”

youths playing volleybal

Existing measures already put in place by the government to help people be more active include: investing £450 million over three years for PE and sport in primary schools; and the Department for Transport and the Department of Health have given £78 million to fund cycling and walking projects. ‘Moving More, Living More’ aims to go even further and encourage more initiatives such as the one being led by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), who are working with the Swimathon Foundation to get children swimming. As part of the initiative, The ASA and the Swimathon Foundation have pledged to recruit and provide tools for schools to inspire 10,000 youngsters that have acquired essential swimming skills to ‘Swim their Best’ and swim further and for longer.

“Physical activity is an essential ingredient for a healthier nation, and can deliver so many other benefits for individuals and the wider community,” says Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison. “The Olympic and Paralympic legacy has already delivered good results with over 1.5 million more people doing sport once a week than when we won the bid to host the Games. By working together, we can achieve more and make sure that getting more people moving is the biggest legacy of London 2012.”

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