Department of Health and Social Care
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Change4Life survey says: Too many children not getting enough exercise

Change4Life survey says: Too many children not getting enough exercise

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service on 24 April 2009

New Change4Life advert to get the nation moving

Results from a massive survey of Change4Life families show that almost three quarters (72 per cent) of their children are not getting 60 minutes of daily activity outside of school. The campaign's new TV ad, which launches today, urges families get up and about more in an effort to cut levels of obesity.

The 'How Are The Kids Survey', launched in January, is the biggest national survey of children's diet and activity levels, and received more than 260,000 responses from families across England.

The survey of change4life families also found that 45 per cent of their kids watched TV or played non-active video games before school, and only 22 per cent did something active after their evening meal.

Since the survey began, families have been sent tailor made support packs to help them make small but important changes to their daily routines. A new Change4Life advert focusing on getting families more active, hits screens today and will add encouragement to that support.

The new advert responds to the need for families to get more physical activity into their daily routines - to make sure that the energy in, is matched by the energy out.

The ad features the Change4Life family as they realise that 'sitting around doing nothing' can lead to a build up of fat in their bodies that can cause diseases such as type two diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

The family find lots of fun ways to get their kids 60 active minutes - playing in the park, walking to school and playing with active computer games where kids need to jump and dance around.

Dawn Primarolo, Minister for Public Health said:

"Our survey shows that kids just aren't getting up and about as much as they should. If we're going to cut obesity levels our children need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.

"Families up and down the country are getting tailor made action plans from Change4Life, and our new ads will give additional encouragement to help families feel the difference.

"By eating better and moving more, we can all live longer and healthier lives. With continued support from Change4Life this can be a reality for every family in England."


Notes to editors

1. For media enquiries only please contact the Department of Health newsdesk on 0207 210 5221.

2. Change4Life launched on 2nd January. It is a cross-government campaign to help families eat well, move more and live longer. For more information log on to

3. The How Are The Kids survey launched on 31st January 2009. 11 million copies of the survey have been distributed to over 7.5 million households and via other routes. Those who respond are sent a tailored action plan of advice and information to help them and their families live healthier lives.

4. Children and young people should achieve a total of at least 60 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity each day. At least twice a week this should include activities to improve bone health, muscle strength and flexibility.

5. The recommended levels of activity can be achieved either by doing all the daily activity in one session, or through several shorter bouts of activity of 10 minutes or more. This can be physical activity or structured exercise or sport, or a combination of these.

6. The new Change4Life advert focussing on getting families up and about will screen from 24th April 2009.

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