Three out of ten in North-East 'not doing enough exercise' prompts investment (From The Northern Echo)
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Three out of ten in North-East 'not doing enough exercise' prompts investment
ONE year on from the Olympics around one in three North-East adults are still not doing enough exercise.
Latest statistics show that 30.1 per cent of people in the North-East are active for less than 30 minutes per week - prompting a call from Public Health Minister Anna Soubry for everyone to get more active.
To encourage this, the Department of Health has announced more than £5m of funding to encourage children and families in the least active areas to exercise more.
This will benefit children in the North-East, where the Change4Life School Sports Clubs - which are already in 8,000 schools nationally - will be extended from 374 to 714 primary schools.
The clubs try to engage less active primary and secondary school children in physical activity and school sport. The total investment nationally includes £3m for Change4Life Sports Clubs, £1.1m for an initiative called Street Play and £1m for schemes to promote walking.
Mrs Soubry said: "It's fantastic that more than half of adults in the North-East are doing the recommended amount of physical activity, but I am shocked that 30.1 per cent are not getting even 30 minutes of exercise a week.
"We were all inspired by the Olympics and as part of its legacy we want to encourage everyone - children and adults - to get active and get healthy."
Last year more than 100,000 young people took part in Change4Life sports clubs - doubling the number of children excercising for an hour a day.
Chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust John Steele said: "Supporting schools to engage less active children in physical activity and school sport and making this fun is vital to ensure they go on to lead healthy active lifestyles.
"We know that young people were inspired by what they saw last year, so now we need to turn this inspiration into participation; we don't want them put off physical activity for life."
Play England will use their £1.1m to encourage children to play together on their streets, reviving old favourites like hopscotch and hide-and-seek.
Regular physical activity can significantly reduce avoidable mortality and prevent conditions, such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes which cost the NHS £1bn a year in England alone.
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