We want to make physical activity and sport a way of life for everyone in Midlothian.
We know that regular physical activity plays an important part in maintaining a healthy weight, preventing illness and stimulating positive mental health. Taking part in physical activities and sport also provides opportunities for social interaction with others and can be a fun and healthy way for people to spend their leisure time.
In 2008 we developed a strategy for the promotion of sport, physical activity and physical education in Midlothian. Our vision at that time was about creating a ‘culture of activity’ where being physically active is the norm rather than the exception. In reviewing the 2008-2012 strategy we can identify a number of successes however the reality is that most of us are still not active enough to stay physically healthy.
The UK Chief Medical Officers physical activity guidelines published in 2011 are as follows:
|Early years – under 5 years||Children capable of walking unaided should be physically active daily for at least 180 minutes (3 hours), spread throughout the day.|
|Children and young people aged 5-18||Should engage in moderate to vigorous activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day.|
|Adults aged 19-64||Should engage in 150 minutes moderate activity or 75 minutes vigorous activity each week (accumulated in bouts of at least 10 minutes).|
|Adults aged 65 and over||In addition to the guidance for adults, older adults are advised that any amount of physical activity is better than none.|
The Scottish Health Survey 2014 reports 76 % of children aged 2-15 were achieving the recommended 60 minutes per day with lower participation by girls in the age bands 2-4 and 13-15 years.
In the case of adults the survey results show that 63% of adults achieved the recommended activity level and that the proportion of adults meeting the guidelines was highest for those aged 25-34. Gender differences were also recorded with a significantly smaller proportion of women than men meeting the guidelines however achieving the required activity levels decreased with age irrespective of gender.
The main barriers to taking part in physical activities and sport reported by men and women alike were poor health, lack of time and lack of interest. We believe that if we can increase interest in physical activity and sport that people will make the time to take part and as a result we will make a positive impact on physical and mental health in Midlothian.
In 2015 sportscotland facilitated a series of workshops which were attended by other council service areas and external agencies committed to working together with Midlothian Council to increase the number of people taking part in physical activities and sport. In 2016 a further series of internal consultations were held with key members of staff.
We believe that physical activity and sport has a huge role to play in improving the health of our residents and have detailed the goals and priorities that provide a strategic framework for ensuring physical activity is a way of life for everyone in Midlothian in a short survey.