Slough steps up fight against inactivity and obesity

Published: 29 November 2018

The council’s public health team has extended its current partnership with Active Movement to deliver a new activity programme across all 10 Slough Children’s Centres.

Working closely with the council’s early years team, the programme aims to educate children, staff, parents and their community on the benefits of reducing sedentary behaviour and the lifetime benefits of being more active.

This ambitious initiative comes as a direct result of the success of the Slough Wellbeing Board’s #BeRealistic campaign, which encourages small positive changes in lifestyle, to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Sedentary behaviour is one of the precursors to obesity and poses a number of risk factors to health, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “More than a third of children in England are overweight or obese by the time they finish primary school and in Slough 41.5% of year six students are overweight or obese.

“Low levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour also lead to a reduction in academic performance, concentration and behaviour in children, so it is increasingly important to get children active at the earliest age possible.”

Councillor Shabnum Sadiq, cabinet member for children and education, added: “We are greatly looking forward to continuing our important work with Active Movement.

“It is vital that children of all ages learn about the importance of being, and staying active. Maintaining a healthy body weight and continuing to engage in recommended levels of physical activity are key to achieving long term good health.”

Dr Mike Loosemore MBE, co-founder of Active Movement, added: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to extend the impact of the programme across all 10 Slough Children’s Centres in the coming 12 months.”

Chalvey Grove Children’s Centre has already integrated the Active Movement programme as part of an initial pilot, and reported excellent results.

Data collected for the first year shows an 8% increase in children showing an expected level of progress in physical development compared with previous years, when the data was fairly static.

This has not only had an impact on their physical development but also on a child’s behaviour. The number of children showing expected levels of development in managing their feelings and behaviour also rose by 5.2%.

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The Active Movement programme is endorsed by the Slough Wellbeing Board.