The council’s public health team is partnering with Active Movement to deliver a programme across Slough which aims to educate everyone on the benefits of reducing sedentary behaviour and the lifetime benefits of being more active.
Recent evidence suggests 11.6% of deaths, 70,000 people, are caused by sitting too much.
The Active Movement programme is designed to educate and inspire individuals to reduce their sedentary behaviour and increase low-level activity as part of their daily working and home life.
Peter Savage, co-founder of Active Movement said “A sedentary lifestyle – one which involves a lot of time spent sitting – is now recognised as a separate health risk to inactivity. We all know we should exercise each week and if you go to the gym before work, that’s great. But sitting down for eight hours when you get to the office, sitting down to drive to work or at home when you’re eating and watching TV undoes all that good.
“All 10 children’s centres, 23 Slough primary schools and one secondary school are currently participating in the Active Movement initiative, with more Early Year settings and secondary schools set to join over the coming year. Now the programme is being rolled out to council staff.”
Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Slough Borough Council is committed to the wellbeing of the community it serves and the Active Movement programme is a fantastic initiative that will help us raise fit and healthy people for every generation to come. The statistics are clear. Obesity and inactivity are on the rise, both in Slough and across the country. Now is the time for action.
“It is vital we do all we can to enable the people of Slough to lead physically and emotionally healthy lives. We’re starting by getting our own house in order, launching the Active Movement programme with our own staff, many of whom are Slough residents.
“What we want to see is a borough-wide movement – an active movement – involving all of the community. The work already undertaken by Active Movement in Slough across children’s centres, nurseries and schools has shown the value of the programme and participating schools have already seen excellent results. It’s amazing how such small and simple changes can alter habits and make children and adults more active and ultimately healthier individuals.”
Dr Mike Loosemore MBE, co-founder of Active Movement, added: “Active Movement has already made a significant difference in schools and early years settings where teachers have noted improved behaviour, concentration levels, motivation and an increased interest in keeping active and exercising.
“Data collected so far in Slough shows 43.6% of participants have increased physical activity levels outside of school, and overall there has been a 39.9% increase in physical activity levels of all pupils. In our children’s centres there was a contribution to an 8% increase in children showing an expected level of progress in physical development compared with previous years, when the data was fairly static, and a 5.2% increase in the number of children showing expected levels of development in managing their feelings and behaviour.”
Slough is the first town in the country to run a consolidated programme that will reach every setting from early years through to secondary schools and the workplace.
This ambitious initiative is part of the Slough Wellbeing Board’s commitment to making Slough Borough Council an exemplar authority, leading the way on health and wellbeing.
For further information about the Active Movement programme, please contact Tim Howells, Public Health Programme Officer – Physical Activity and Obesity on 01753 875144 or visit www.activemovement.co.uk