Mayor of London backs Change4Life drive to get children more active

15 July 2014

As Public Health England launches a major new Change4Life campaign to get children more active during the summer holidays, the Deputy Mayor of London, Victoria Borwick is today visiting St Luke's CE primary school on the Isle of Dogs, to see first-hand what it is doing to improve pupils' health.

 

Schoolchildren will be giving a judo demonstration, as well as taking part in a gardening class and a cookery class.

 

St Luke's is participating in the Mayor's Healthy Schools London (HSL) programme, which was set up to encourage young Londoners to eat more healthily, get more active, and ensure conditions are there to support the emotional wellbeing of youngsters in London's schools.

 

More than 1,000 schools have already signed up and now, through support of Change4Life, the Mayor is backing the drive to encourage youngsters to get more active when out of school.

 

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'Through our Healthy Schools London programme we're already encouraging young Londoners to get more active and be healthier. But it is just as important to be doing this when they are out of school. The summer holidays are a perfect time for youngsters to get active, whether it is sport and formal exercise, playing games, of course cycling, or simply running around. The goal is to see our young people – and our city – become fitter and healthier.'

 

Children need a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, which can be achieved in one session or through shorter bursts of 10 minute activity.

 

Only 1 in 5 children aged 5-10 currently meets the recommended target of 60 minutes of daily activity, with almost 40 per cent of children in this age group doing less than 30 minutes per day.[i]

 

The Change4Life 10 Minute Shake Up campaign uses Disney characters alongside recognisable Change4Life animations to get children doing more 10 minute bursts of exercise.

 

The aim is to help them reach the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity they need each day. 70,000 families have already signed up to the programme.

 

Other families wanting to find out more and sign up should go to www.nhs.uk/change4life.

 

Deputy Mayor Victoria Borwick said: 'We are delighted to be joining forces with Change4Life and encouraging children to get more active this summer. In a city like London, there are so many opportunities for young people, from playing in the park, to taking up swimming or family days out going on walks in the numerous green spaces around the capital. Schools like St Luke's are already taking up the challenge to improve the health and wellbeing of pupils. We want to inspire them and other youngsters – and adults – to be inspired to get more active this summer and throughout the year.' 

 

• To find out more about the latest Change4Life programme, go to www.nhs.uk/change4life. 

• For more on the Mayor's Healthy Schools London programme go towww.london.gov.uk/priorities/health/focus-issues/healthy-schools-london. 

Notes to editors

 

1. In school-aged children, physical activity can lead to better academic achievement, increased attention span, improved behaviour and self-confidence as well as increased physical health and a reduced risk of developing chronic conditions in the future.[ii]

2. Those who sign up to the Change4Life 10 Minute Shake Up campaign will, from 15 July, receive a free '10 Minute Shake Up' pack in the post. The number of packs printed is based on the distribution figures from previous campaigns. The packs will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

3. Public Health England is committed to working with national and local partners to promote increased physical activity and will publish a national implementation framework for physical activity in October 2014 to support the government call to action on physical activity, Moving More, Living More - http://bit.ly/1zBgG2J.

4. The Mayor of London's Healthy Schools London (www.healthyschoolslondon.org.uk) uses a whole school approach to improve health and wellbeing, increase access to healthy food throughout the school day, provide opportunities to be more physically active, and aims to reduce childhood obesity. Healthy Schools London provides awards for schools to recognise work that they are doing around health and wellbeing and childhood obesity linked to five key themes:

• Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE);

• Healthy Eating;

• Physical Activity;

• Emotional health and wellbeing;

• School environment.

5. 1,048 of London’s schools have now registered to the programme. 383 schools have earned a Bronze Award, 38 have earned a Silver, and two have earned Gold. For a full list of schools who have signed up please contact [email protected] 

6. Healthy Schools London is one of several mayoral backed initiatives and programmes aimed at tackling obesity and improving health for people of all ages in London. These include:

• Getting more Londoners cycling, including one billion pounds recently announced to boost cycling in the capital, including an east-west 'Crossrail for the bike', a new network of 'quietways' and works to improve safety at key junctions;

• The Sporting Legacy programme has resulted in £40 million being invested to upgrade local facilities and increase opportunities for Londoners across the capital to participate in sport and physical activity;

• The Takeaways Toolkit, which deals provides a framework for dealing with the proliferation of fast food shops;

• Public realm improvements large and small, from the Queen Elizabeth Park to pocket parks around the city, offering green spaces for formal and informal activity from walking to cycling to organised sport.