This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Keep young kids active, parents are told
Scotland's Physical Activity Co-ordinator Mary Allison today urged parents and carers to get their kids active.
At a conference on Health, Wealth and Happiness in North Lanarkshire, she said that too many under threes were spending too much time inactive and that playing a simple game of 'peak a boo' or hide and seek could be a way to solve the problem.
Ms Allison said:
"We all need to be active. And babies and children in particular need to develop active and healthy lifestyles at and early age to give them the best possible start in life. Many people assume that activity comes naturally to children but research shows that our increasingly inactive livestyles are changing that for even for very young children in Scotland. However, good habits developed now can last forever.
"Children need to learn from reading books and watching some television but there needs to be a healthy balance - too many young children are simply not active enough.
"But little changes in their daily routine can be the way to healthier, happier kids. Playing at simple bouncing or rolling actions with a young baby to stimulate their muscles, playing with a ball, a walk to the local playpark or playing in the back garden are all simple ways of getting younger children active."
Scotland's first Physical Activity Strategy was launched on February 13, 2003.
Key challenges identified were:
- Creating, improving and maintaining the supply of facilities for activities (including walking, cycling and informal recreation spaces as well as formal leisure centres and swimming pools)
- Developing, increasing and maintaining staff capacity in a wide range of settings to support people become more active
- Stimulating demand for increased physical activity through increased awareness in the general population
The Executive planned to tackle the challenges by:
- The appointment of a National Physical Activity Co-ordinator - Mary Allison was already in post
- The development of four action plans in the areas of Active Homes; Active Schools, Active Communities and Active Workplaces
- A new healthy living brand for physical activity which will tie in with the Executive's health improvement strategy