The BMA Cymru Wales blog has moved

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Another Government Strategy Launched…..

I have been reading the physical activity action plan which has been launched this week, with the aim to achieve an active, healthy and inclusive Wales.

We support the call for increased participation in physical activity in Wales and in particular it becoming part of a normal everyday routine.

I hope that the strategy will be successful, but the responsibility ultimately lies with the individual. We all need to be prepared to make small changes to our daily routine which can make a real difference.

Wales is a beautiful country, and what better way to appreciate our surroundings than swap the car journey to work, for walking or cycling. And I’m not just talking about adults. Children, where possible, should be encouraged to walk or cycle to school. The number of children travelling to school by car has doubled over the last 20 years - no wonder childhood obesity is a growing epidemic. We need to teach children from a young age about the advantages of a healthy lifestyle, and introducing exercise into a daily regime will help to protect them from chronic conditions later on in life.

The inequalities inherent within Wales have a profound influence on the health of children. I would like to see more investment in safe areas for children to play and exercise, as well as further investment for sport in schools. Deprivation limits access to safe play areas and safe physical activities.

In deprived areas many parents are too scared to let their children go outside because the roads are so busy, and in many communities there are the additional dangers of unsafe environments where play areas are littered with discarded syringes and broken glass. Until we address these fundamental barriers – nothing will change.

As doctors we have a vital role to play as well - in prescribing exercise for those who are overweight or obese.

Physical inactivity has so many different causes that it is impossible to be tackled by guidelines alone. I’ll be very keen to read the data that will be produced through the Welsh Health Survey and Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study to see if the strategy has actually worked.

What are your thoughts on the strategy?

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? Leave your comment on this post.