Scottish Government
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Funding for fitness activities

Record funding of £12 million for physical activity initiatives in schools, workplaces, homes and across communities has been announced.

Over the next three years the extra funding will help expand a wide range of programmes including outdoor exercise sessions in parks, lunch time walks for workplaces and walking groups in deprived communities.

The funding will also be used to create better recreational spaces and improve environments for walking and cycling.

Importantly, it will be used to bolster public awareness of the benefits of physical activity when incorporated into everyday life.

Part of the national physical activity strategy, the funding will help deliver long term targets for improving physical activity in Scotland.

By 2022, 50 per cent of adults and 80 per cent of children are expected to meet international recommendations for daily levels of physical activity, with adults doing at least thirty minutes most days of the week and children doing one hour each day of the week.

Visiting the Play@Home project in Fife, which promotes physical activity in early years and is due to be rolled out nationally this year thanks to the funding boost, Minister for Public Health Shona Robison said:

"I am delighted to see the good work of the Play@Home project in Fife today in helping parents engage babies and young children in physical activity in fun ways.

"Generally as a nation we are not active enough and the increasing problem of unhealthy weight, particularly in children, is a real concern. For adults, just thirty minutes a day, five times a week, is the recommended amount.

"This need not involve special clothes or a gym and can add up over two or three different activities. Walking briskly to the shops, doing the gardening or playing outside with your kids can make all the difference.

"It is important that we continue to encourage everyone, especially young people, to realise the benefits of physical activity and incorporate it into their daily routine. Evidence shows that these healthy patterns of behaviour can stay with a child for life.

"That is why I am pleased to launch our new physical activity programme and announce record funding for initiatives which will make it easier for people to incorporate recommended levels of activity into their lifestyle.

"However this is only one element of a new long term strategy to help everyone in Scotland maintain a healthier lifestyle.

"In the next few weeks we will be publishing our joint action plan for Diet, Physical Activity and Healthy Weight which will outline a range of initiatives we are taking forward to tackle these issues."

Record funding of nearly £12 million is being provided to deliver the strategy. This will be 3.86 million pounds per annum for 2008-2011. Funding has doubled from £1.86 million per year.

The strategy sets long-term targets for physical activity in Scotland. These are by 2022, 50 per cent of adults and 80 per cent of children will meet the current recommended levels of physical activity. To meet this target the percentage of the population meeting current recommendations will need to increase annually by an average of one per cent.

The Play@Home project recognises that all movement in babies and very young children can be exercise and health related, promoting the concept of physical activity from a very young age. The resource consist of three books - baby, toddler and pre-school - which offer practical help to parents in playing with their children. From 2008 -2011 the Scottish Government will invest £1.23 million to provide all regions across Scotland with free Play@home resources.

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