As the Scottish Minister for Sport labels physical activity the key to a healthy future, NHS Greater Glasgow continues its determined drive to move on up in the exercise stakes.
And as the Scottish Executive's latest conference in Glasgow, ‘Sporting Futures – Making a Difference to Health' spreads the word, determined staff of NHS Greater Glasgow are driving home the physical activity message.
Kevin Lafferty, Senior Health Promotion Officer for Physical Activity, revealed that research shows 76% of Greater Glasgow women and 67% of men are not meeting the recommended level of activity necessary for good health.
Kevin said: "Despite this, however, our recent Health and Wellbeing survey showed that 59% of people think they are generally more active than they used to be.
"This is a positive step for Greater Glasgow, but to gain further physical, mental and social benefits, we need to see more Glaswegians being more active more often."
So what is NHS Greater Glasgow doing to get the public's blood pumping?
Kevin explained: "Physical activity can be influenced by a huge range of factors, from individual preferences through to the availability of safe environments. So if we want to increase activity levels, it is essential we work in partnership with communities and key agencies across Greater Glasgow.
"Work is underway to develop a physical activity strategy for people living in and around Glasgow. Already the partnership working is paying off, as a number of projects are successfully underway such as Glasgow City's Health Walks programme.
"Funding secured from the Paths to Health Partnership (which was created by Scottish National Heritage and other partners in 1996) will add to money from the Fresh Futures Transforming Your Space Fund to appoint a Glasgow City Health Walks coordinator."
The post, which will be recruited in January, is being supported by a partnership group that includes Glasgow Healthy City Partnership, Paths to Health groups in Drumchapel and Easterhouse, and Glasgow City Council
Kevin went on: "Glasgow's City Health Walks will target inactive people who are at risk of Coronary Heart Disease, diabetes, cancer or obesity. The programme will encourage and support people to regularly take part in independent and organiser-led walks around different parts of the city.
"The main aim is to encourage walking for recreation and fitness and to improve people's health and wellbeing. The program will train walk leaders and encourage use of green spaces and parks."
But how can we ensure youngsters see physical activity as fun?
Kevin explained: "NHS Greater Glasgow hosted the Week of Dance during Health Week in September and is currently supporting the Girls with Attitude dance project for teenage girls at Eastbank Health Promotion Centre in Glasgow's eastend.
"And to make the school and leisure link, the Kool Kids children's health club in primary schools in Greater Pollock is allowing children to take part in organised games, sport and fitness activities after school."
To find out more about accessing fun physical activity opportunities for children, information is available from public buildings such as libraries, community centres and sports centres.
The work doesn't stop there, however, as the Health Service puts its staff through the pace in a bid to boost workforce health.
In working towards the Scotland's Health at Work (SHAW) Gold award, physical activity awareness events have offered staff on-the-spot advice and details of staff classes and gyms at hospitals and other NHS buildings. Information has also been given on how staff can actively commute to and from work each day as part of the development of a green transport policy for the Health Service.
For further information, contact: Caroline Jarvie on 0141 418 0552
NOTES TO EDITORS: