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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Action plan for healthier Scots
Physical education
Ministers have announced a 20-year strategy
A review of physical education has been announced in Scotland as part of plans to end the "couch potato" culture.

The Scottish Executive also revealed the appointment of Mary Allison as physical activity co-ordinator as part of a 20-year plan to promote better lifetstyles for all.

Ministers said the moves were the "first steps in an accelerated and sustained attack" on the 'couch-potato' life-styles which are threatening the future health of generations of Scots."

The announcement follows the publication of a report by the executive's Physical Activity Task Force, which was set up a year ago.


We are sitting and watching better lives pass us by

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm

Figures have shown that one in four boys and two in five girls in Scotland are not meeting the target of an hour of moderate activity on most days.

The report will be considered by central and local government agencies such as Sportscotland, the Health Education Board for Scotland (Hebs), voluntary groups and NHS boards.

Ms Allison, an expert in the field of physical activity and health promotion, said she would work at promoting a "joined up" programme of physical activity by all of the agencies involved.

'Not doing enough'

She said: "What we all need to do is work together for the one purpose which is to make Scotland more active."

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm said some inroads had been made in promoting healthier lifestyles.

"However, collectively as a nation, from childhood through to later life, we are simply not doing enough," he said.

John Beattie
John Beattie: Targeting all age groups

"This is partly because we don't know how much we should be doing, partly because there is a misconception that you have to go to the gym to be physically active and partly because our lack of motivation is compounded by a lack of encouragement and support.

"We are sitting and watching better lives pass us by."

The task force was headed by the former British Lions and Scotland rugby player turned BBC commentator John Beattie.

He said: "It's part of a global problem that as the world gets more and more modern then more people do less and less activity.

Shopping and dancing

"We've grabbed the bull by the horns and appointed Mary as physical activity co-ordinator.

"We're going to try and get more kids more active and more old people more active."

Mr Beattie said part of the problem had been the "perception" of what physical activity entails.

He cited shopping and dancing as two simple, everyday ways of getting some exercise.

Hamani Benaziza, the World Health Organisation's group leader in physical Activity, said: "By creating such a strategy, Scotland is now leading the world in addressing this issue."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Eleanor Bradford
"The task force unveiled a 20-year plan"
See also:

15 May 02 | Health
22 Apr 02 | Scotland
22 Apr 02 | Health
01 Feb 02 | Health
22 Nov 01 | Scotland
26 Oct 01 | Scotland
22 Feb 00 | Scotland
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