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Putting children's health and activity in the spotlight

ukactive has launched a major new consultation that will shape the future of children's physical activity across the UK

Posted by Julian Owen | March 22, 2018 | Health & wellbeing

ukactive - the not-for-profit body chaired by former Paralympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson - is seeking written evidence capturing the views of children, young people, parents, teachers, activity providers, social workers, policy experts, business leaders, healthcare professionals, and anyone else with a stake in children’s health, to help plot the next chapter in the health of Britain’s children.

The consultation will focus on developing opportunities in three key areas: the organisations and institutions that children and young people experience; the physical environment they grow up in; and the social environment children interact with.

The evidence will feed into a new report that will be published at ukactive’s National Summit on 12 September 2018.

It follows the publication of ukactive’s Generation Inactive in 2015, a groundbreaking report that laid bare the physical inactivity crisis facing Britain’s children.

The findings and recommendations led the debate in the media and Westminster, generating momentum behind the children’s activity agenda.

"The best way to address these challenges is by making physical activity more accessible and providing more opportunities for everyone."

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said: “Our next report will take us from playground to policy, so this is a chance for you to have your say and fundamentally change the way we approach children’s health through physical activity.

“It seems every day now we read more headlines about rising obesity among our children, but we must take a far broader view of children’s health, with a focus on the proven benefits of physical activity as well as diet.

“We want to hear from the experts on what really works for our children; how best to engage them in physical activity so they can build good habits that last a lifetime and massively reduce their risk, not only of obesity, but also cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

“Children’s health is key to their happiness and wellbeing, and healthy children are more likely to grow into the healthy, productive adults our society needs.

“It takes a whole community to raise a child and that is why ukactive needs your help to build the evidence base and shape the physical activity landscape for young people.

“By sharing your success stories from our playgrounds, activity centres and communities, you will be telling the UK – and those operating in the corridors of power – what really works for our kids.”

"We must take a far broader view of children’s health, with a focus on the proven benefits of physical activity as well as diet."

Educationalist Adrian Packer, CEO of CORE Education Trust and Chair of the ukactive Kids Council, said: “This is an unmissable opportunity to shape the future of children’s health.

“In order to develop a truly holistic approach to children’s physical activity across the UK, we need more evidence of what works, from those who know this area best.

“This consultation has the potential to play a crucial role in driving children’s physical activity up the national agenda, helping us to shape policy and tackle the multiple threats to 'generation inactive'.

“This is about much more than waistlines – it’s about the overall health and mental wellbeing of our children.

“We know the best way to address these challenges is by making physical activity more accessible and providing more opportunities for everyone, although how we do that depends on the evidence we receive.”

Anyone can make a submission to the report by completing a simple online questionnaire at: ukactivekids.com. The deadline for responses is Friday 1 June 2018.

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