Department of Health and Social Care
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All sport and no play?

Games4Life, a new campaign to inspire the nation to get active during this year’s summer of sport was launched yesterday by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

The campaign will build on the excitement of the sporting activities taking place this summer and will encourage millions of people to get involved and get active.

This summer there will be over 1,200 hours of sport on TV, which is an average of 13 hours a day. New research shows that 93 per cent of us will be tuning into some of this coverage during the next three months.

The survey also shows that over half of us will snack on crisps, four in ten adults will drink alcohol and one in five will eat a takeaway whilst watching.

In a bid to get the nation up off the sofa, Games4Life will be encouraging everyone to fill out a simple activity check questionnaire in return for a tailored Games4Life activity pack to keep both adults and kids active during the summer months.

The innovative campaign will bring ideas and inspiration to the public’s fingertips via the Change4Life website, which is full of fun, easy and free ways for everyone to get moving.  And for families, there’s a new mobile app – the Fun Generator – that will equip parents and families with over 100 indoor and outdoor activity ideas for kids of all ages.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“I’m looking forward to watching what is shaping up to be an exciting summer of sport on TV, beginning today with the first England football match in Euro 2012.

“But we know that playing sport can be as much fun as watching it and we want to help people make the most of opportunities to get active.

“That is why we are launching Games4Life: to inspire us all to get off our sofas and try some activity ourselves.”

Sally Gunnell, former British Olympic Champion and mother of three, said:

“Major sporting events on TV always inspire people to try something out but we sometimes don’t make it past the front door because we’re not sure where to start. It’s great that this campaign strikes while the iron’s hot and gives people encouragement to get active this summer.

“I’ll certainly be looking out for my Games4Life questionnaire and will be filling it out for my whole family.”

Around 2.6 million activity packs have already been distributed to 7,500 schools across the country with lesson plans for teachers and take-home activities for children to use throughout their summer holidays.

ASDA, Aldi and JJB have also pledged their support for the campaign and will promoting the campaign through events, sports related offers and promotional material. 

Local Authorities and Change4Life supporters are also getting involved in supporting Change4Life and will be distributing over four million questionnaires to local communities.

The campaign will be supported by TV, digital, press advertising and social media activity.

Notes to editors

  1. For further information, supportive quotes, case studies or to view a copy of the TV advert please contact the Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5239/4990/5281.
  2. Department of Health guidelines recommend that:
    • children aged five to 18 should have 60 active minutes a day
    • adults should have 150 active minutes a week.
    • Younger children agedtwo to fourare recommended to get 180 minutes a day
  3. Research into TV coverage was carried out by PCP for the period covering 8th June 2012 to 9th September 2012.
  4. Further research into watching habits: Censuswide, May 2012.
    • One in five (18 per cent) say they’ll watch all of the Euros;
    • Four in ten (43 per cent) say they’ll watch some ofWimbledon;
    • Half of people (54 per cent) say they’ll watch some of the Olympics;
    • Almost two in ten (17 per cent) say they’ll watch all of the Olympics; and
    • Two in ten (23 per cent) say they’ll watch the key moments of the Paralympics
  5. The Games4Life activity check questionnaires will be distributed through a number of channels including local supporters such as Sure Start Centres; via magazines; and Change4Life partners including a range of high-street retailers. People can also fill out a questionnaire online on the Change4Life website and Facebook page and via a mobile.
  6. New Games4Life Fun Generator mobile app – The Fun Generator provides over 100 free, entertaining indoor and outdoor activity ideas for groups of all sizes. Inspiration for some of the games has come from real life parents and kids via the Change4Life Facebook page. Available from Monday June 11th, the Android version can be downloaded directly via the Change4Life website and the iPhone/iPad versions can be downloaded through the iTunes Store.

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