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Record Number of People Getting Fitter Through Walking and Exercise

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

More people than ever across Greater Glasgow and Clyde are signing up for some form of physical activity as part of three exercise programmes which are designed to meet their individual needs.  

Being physically active is the most important thing you can do for your health.  It doesn’t need to involve expensive equipment or running marathons.   Walking and activities tailored to your age and ability are very effective in keeping you healthy. 

From walking clubs to individual exercise classes, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has developed three physical activity programmes which offer people the opportunity to take part in a physical activity that suits them. 

In 2016/17 alone there were more than 720 new walkers signed up for the ‘Health Walk’ classes, which offer short, safe, social , fun and accessible low level walks led by trained volunteers walkers.  Recorded attendances last year was well over 43,000 and there was also 175 new volunteer walk leaders signed up for training. 

‘Vitality’ is a programme of exercise classes for people with different physical abilities and medical conditions, including coronary heart disease, multiple sclerosis, COPD or Parkinsons Disease, who can take regular classes tailored to suit their functional abilities.  There were nearly 100,000 attendances recorded last year across 160 weekly classes. 

The last programme is ‘Live Active’ and is for patients who are not currently taking much exercise but are motivated to get more active.  The programme provides one to one support to become more active and advice on how to be more active.  

All three programmes are provided in partnership with our six local authority partners including Glasgow City. 

Dr Linda de Caestecker, Director of Public Health, is delighted that year on year we have seen an increase in people joining these programmes but recognises there are still challenges. 

She said:  “Supporting people to ‘sit less and move more’ remains a challenge.  However, these three programmes are helping more and more people to find an activity that is enjoyable and achievable.    

“We have already seen a 79% increase in referrals to physical activity support from our acute service.  There is excellent information available to ensure that people across Glasgow are aware of what activity is available to them and how to access it.  We have wonderful leisure centres and sports facilities across Greater Glasgow and Clyde that are easy to get to and welcoming.” 

Research has shown that the average adult should undertake at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week but across Scotland 37% of adults and 26% of children in Scotland do not come close to undertaking the recommended levels of physical activity, and one in four adults, and one in ten children participate less than 30 minutes a week. 

So a physically active lifestyle is beneficial to physical, mental and social health. 

Linda added:   “There is a wealth of information about physical activity programmes our website at” 

Alan Milner, Head of Sport at Glasgow Life, said: “The three programmes we run in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are growing more and more popular and it’s not difficult to see the benefits these are having on users’ lives. Participants see an increase in their fitness levels, note positive impacts in their general health and wellbeing, and also foster new friendships with other attendees. 

“We’re proud to work with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on these initiatives, and look forward to seeing an even larger increase in uptake in the years to come.” 



For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]



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Last Updated: 11 November 2021