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Community Access Programme

Last Updated: 8/21/2019

The Edinburgh Leisure Community Access Programme (CAP) has a clear vision ‘to promote positive partnerships to create opportunities for everyone to get active, stay active and achieve more’ with a focus on those least likely to participate in sport and physical activity.


Moving Medicine

Last Updated: 11/9/2018

At ISPAH2018 the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine launched Moving Medicine, a free online evidenced-based resource supporting health professionals to raise the issue of Physical Activity with patients.


Developing a standardised physical activity and sport monitoring system for Europe

Last Updated: 3/12/2018

On 18–19 January the European Union Physical Activity and Sport Monitoring System (EUPASMOS) project was launched in Budapest, Hungary. The project aims to establish a standardised system to monitor physical activity levels and sport participation across Europe. Following the initial work of a coordination team project participants are now collaborating to achieve the ambitious goal of a valid and reliable system to monitor physical activity and sport across Europe. A standard monitoring system will provide better information for countries to evaluate physical activity policies and strategies and enable more accurate comparisons of physical activity and sports participation between countries. This system will benefit all countries in the WHO European Region through the development and dissemination of a toolkit to help countries to implement a standardised system of monitoring and surveillance. Read more here:

policy consultation

A healthier future - action and ambitions on diet, activity and healthy weight

Last Updated: 3/12/2018

The Scottish Government have published the responses to the consultation on the Diet and Obesity Strategy consultation which can be read in full here:


Obesity Statistics in Scotland

Last Updated: 1/9/2018

A new report by Scotland’s Chief Statistician summarises the latest figures on obesity in Scotland. The purpose of the report is to monitor the progress of the Scottish Government’s Prevention of Obesity Route Map. In 2016, 65% of adults aged 16 and over were overweight, including 29% who were obese. Levels of overweight and obesity increased between 1995 and 2008, but have remained relatively stable since then. Sixty four percent of adults aged 16 and over met the current moderate/vigorous physical activity of at least 150 minutes per week. There has been no significant change to this proportion since 2012. Seventy six percent of children are active for an average of 60 minutes per day (including school-based activity). Trends in physical activity for children have fluctuated over the years but the 2016 figure is the joint highest along with 2014.


Physical activity outside of school is vital for child health

Last Updated: 10/17/2017

Physical activity outside of school is vital for child health, and could play a vital role in helping children meet government recommendations, according to new research funded in Bristol. The researchers found that children who do activity outside of school in addition to during school hours are much more likely to meet the Government’s physical activity guidelines. The results, published in BMJ Open, suggest that current efforts to increase exercise during the school day won’t be enough for children to meet the recommended one hour of physical activity a day, set by the Chief Medical Officer.

survey data

79% of Scottish Adults take part in physical activity

Last Updated: 10/10/2017

Headline findings from the Scottish Household Survey reveal that in 2016, 79% of adults had taken part in physical activity and sport in the previous four weeks. The rise in physical activity is driven by the rise in recreational walking. Participation in all physical activity and sport remained relatively stable between 2007 and 2010 but recently people have become more active. The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) is a continuous survey based on a random sample of the general population in private residences in Scotland. Questions are asked face-to-face by an interviewer in homes all over Scotland. Read more below:

Evidence Brief

Middle Aged Office Workers sit more than older adults

Last Updated: 7/17/2017

Researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre in Edinburgh have found that middle-aged office workers are more sedentary than pensioners on weekdays. The study used data from the Scottish Health Questionnaire to look at sedentary behaviour including time spent sat down at work and its variation across age groups and gender. 14,367 participants were asked to report on their time spent sedentary at work in a standard day, leisure time sedentary behaviour on a typical weekday and weekend day. The authors state that the majority of middle aged adults reported similar levels of sedentary behaviour to older adults. For adults in work, the time spent inactive during the weekdays is greater for all age groups than for adults aged 75 and above which is reversed at the weekend, indicating that work has a large impact on activity levels. Key findings • For all adults in work, total sedentary time was higher for each age category than for those 75 and over. • For men in work, the biggest difference was between those aged 55-64 who were on average sedentary for 84 minutes longer than those aged 75 and above per day. • For all men, the youngest age group reported less sedentary time than the oldest age group (6.6 hours vs 7.4 hours) • For all men, the age group between 45 and 54 reported significantly more (24 minutes) sedentary time than the oldest age group. • For all women, the oldest age group (75+) reported more sedentary time than those aged between 16 and 75. • For men not in work, most age groups reported less sedentary time than those aged 75 and above.

policy consultation

Sport for everyone - Consultation phase 2

Last Updated: 6/26/2017

A call has been made for written views by the Scottish Parliament and Health and Sport Committee as part of phase 2 of its Sport for Everyone Inquiry. The Committee is keen to receive responses which focus on grassroots sport and the importance of developing strategies to remove barriers to participation. It is also interested in hearing views on how Scotland might increase sport and physical activity participation rates across all groups and sectors of society. Responses could address the following questions: 1. Can you provide examples where a community-based approach has been successful in removing barriers to participation in sport and physical activity? 2. What were the key ingredients to that success? 3. Were there any approaches that were particularly successful in increasing participation among certain social groups, like women, ethnic minorities, certain age-groups? 4.To what extent are these approaches unique to a particular area and set of circumstances, or replicable in other parts of the country? The call for views will close on 30 June. Read more below:


Sit Less, Move More, Sleep Well: Active Play Guidelines for under fives

Last Updated: 6/26/2017

New Zealand has released new guidelines Sit Less, Move More, Sleep Well: Active play guidelines for under-fives. These guidelines provide population health advice to support practitioners, early childhood educators, regional sports trusts and others who provide advice to parents, care givers or families on physical activity for children under five years of age. The guidelines include discouraging screen time for children under two and limiting screen time to less than one hour every day for children aged two and over, providing regular activity breaks to limit the amount of time a child spends sitting and plenty of opportunities for active play The full article can be accessed below:


Realising Realistic Medicine - Scotland's CMO annual report

Last Updated: 4/11/2017

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has published her second annual report, Realising Realistic Medicine. Realistic Medicine aims to put the person receiving health and care at the centre of decision-making and creates a personalised approach to their care. It aims to reduce harm, waste and unwarranted variation, while managing risks and innovating to improve. The report also contains a traditional snapshot of the health of the nation. In terms of adults (16 years and over) there has been relatively little change in physical activity levels over the last few years, and there continues to be a difference by gender. Whilst over two-thirds of men meet physical activity guidelines, less than 60% of women do. Additionally, just under one in five men have very low levels of activity, this is closer to one in four women.

case study

New study reveals that physical activity levels decline from age seven

Last Updated: 3/31/2017

A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine finds that young people’s activity levels start to decline from the age of seven. The study used objective physical activity data, measured with an accelerometer, using data from the Gateshead Millennium Study with eight years of follow up. The authors conclude that future policy and research efforts to promote physical activity should begin well before adolescence, and should include both boys and girls.

briefing paper

BHFNC early years practice briefing

Last Updated: 2/17/2017

The updated early years practice briefing gives evidence-based recommendations and practical advice on how early years practitioners and parents can influence the physical activity opportunities available to young children. The briefing presents recommendations in three sections: 1.Planning and developing physical activity initiatives 2.Working with parents and carers 3.Increasing physical activity in early years settings.


Sport for Everyone - Health and Sport Committee inquiry

Last Updated: 2/17/2017

The Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Parliament launched a survey looking at sport and physical activity in Scotland. People were invited to take part in a short survey on sport participation. The committee wanted to hear views on why people do/do not participate in sport or physical activity. The work is being done to examine the recent progress on sport participation in Scotland and to inform recommendations to ensure the Commonwealth Games legacy continues over the medium to long term.


Keep active to beat the ‘January Blues’

Last Updated: 2/17/2017

The Tesco National Charity Partnership is calling on people to be active to beat the January Blues by using its online motivational tool to get active. The partnership commissioned a survey which found: •eighty-two percent of UK adults report feeling down in January, with many attributing these feelings to dark nights, lack of money and cold weather •three in ten say going for a walk or a jog helps improve their mood, but only 14 per cent actually do it •nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 per cent) said they would like to find more time to exercise •nine in ten people agree that being active can help to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease, but almost half (46 per cent) admit they lacked motivation. •adults reported spending an average of 88 minutes a week on moderate exercise such as walking or cycling. The National Charity Partnership’s online goal setter allows people to set and monitor their health-related targets and encourages them to keep going and achieve their goals.


Weekend warriors’ still get important health benefits

Last Updated: 2/17/2017

New research from Loughborough University, University of Leicester and University College London, has found that people who cram all of their weekly exercise into one or two sessions, eg, at the weekend have a reduced risk of death from any cause of cardiovascular disease. The study included data from 63,591 participants, which was taken from the Health Survey for England and the Scottish Health Survey between 1994 and 2012. Participants' activity levels were classified as inactive, sufficiently active, weekend warriors or regularly active. Researchers examined the association between their physical activity patterns and the risk of death, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Compared with the inactive group, all groups saw a reduction in risk of death and cardiovascular disease. The researchers conclude that: “Weekend warrior and other leisure time physical activity patterns characterised by one or two sessions per week may be sufficient to reduce all-case, cardiovascular and cancer mortality risks regardless of adherence to prevailing physical activity guidelines”. The full journal article can be accessed below:


Sport for Everyone Inquiry - Survey

Last Updated: 1/16/2017

The Health and Sport Committee has today launched an inquiry looking at participation in sport in Scotland. The remit for this work is: to consider the degree of progress made in recent years around access to, and participation in, sport in Scotland. To make recommendations in ensuring that the Commonwealth Games "Active Legacy" aims of increasing access to and participation in sport continue over the medium to long term. As part of the inquiry, a short survey has also been launched on sport participation which only takes a couple of minutes to complete. The survey will run until 7th February 2017 and can be accessed from the link below:


Mental wellbeing and independence for older adults

Last Updated: 1/10/2017

A new NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) quality standard has been issued for mental health and independence in older adults detailing interventions to improve and maintain the mental wellbeing and independence of older adults and how to identify those at risk of a decline. The quality standard has three statements. 1. Older people who are at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing are identified by service providers. 2. Older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing are offered tailored, community-based physical activity programmes. 3. Older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing are offered a range of activities to build or maintain social participation

action plan

Scottish Health and Social Care Plan

Last Updated: 1/10/2017

The Scottish Government has published its Health and Social Care Delivery Plan which emphasises an approach based on anticipation, prevention and self-management through creating a culture where health behaviours are the norm. In 2017, a new delivery plan will aim to reduce inequalities in physical activity across Scotland. In 2019, an NHS Physical Activity pathway will be embedded in all appropriate clinical settings to ensure that hospitals routinely support staff and patients to be more active, in schools to create quality activity opportunities and in the community through the delivery of 200 Community Sports Hubs. The full delivery plan can be accessed from the link below:


Interactive body map: physical inactivity and the risk to your health

Last Updated: 1/10/2017

A new interactive body map brings together scientific evidence on the links between a lack of physical activity and risk of disease. The map allows users to click on coloured dots around the human body to reveal the risk posed by inactivity. For example, clicking on the lungs reveals that there is a 35% higher risk of getting lung cancer if you are physically inactive. You can also filter by disease or condition type. The full interactive map can be downloaded below:

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