The nationwide campaign ‘Fit in 14’ launched today by Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robison will encourage Scotland’s workplaces to get more active by making physical activity a part of their everyday lives.
This campaign forms part of Scotland’s first ever National Physical Activity Implementation Plan, A More Active Scotland – Building a Legacy from the Commonwealth Games, which is published online.
This year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow offers a unique opportunity to inspire Scots to become more active and create a lasting legacy and healthier nation.
The reasons for tackling physical activity are compelling:
• It results in around 2,500 premature deaths in Scotland each day
• Costs the NHS around £91 million annually and is the second biggest cause of mortality
• Being active can help prevent and treat more than 20 chronic diseases
• It is estimated that getting Scotland more active would increase life expectancy by over a year.
The Plan has been developed in consultation with NHS Health Scotland and other key partners and focuses around 5 areas: Environment, Workplace Settings, NHS & Social Care, Education Settings and Sport & Active Recreation, identifying key milestones within these for a 10 year period after the Games this July.
Organisations of all sizes across Scotland are being encouraged to get involved in the legacy campaign ‘Fit in 14’, with small and simple ways to improve the health and wellbeing of employees at the heart of the campaign.
Ms Robison today (Wednesday 19 February) visited Asda in Dumbarton, the first company in Scotland to pledge its support to the programme. With more than 20,000 employees across Scotland, Asda has committed to putting physical activity on its health agenda and will work with ‘Fit in 14’ to develop a simple plan to encourage staff to improve their fitness. (photographs are available)
Ms Robison said, “The Scottish Government is committed to increasing physical activity and we want to make Scotland a more active country by encouraging people to make physical activity a part of their everyday lives. It is well known that regular activity provides a great range of health benefits and makes people feel happier, less stressed and can add years of quality life.
“The benefit of the ‘Fit in 14’ campaign is that we don’t expect people to run a marathon or join a gym, however small measures like taking the stairs instead of the lift, or going for a walk during lunch break are great steps forward towards a healthier lifestyle.
“Furthermore, having a physically active workforce can also lead to 27 per cent fewer sick days, an average saving of £135 per employee. It also reduces workforce injuries and accidents by 25 per cent
“Inactivity is the second biggest cause of death globally, accounting for more than 2,500 deaths in Scotland alone each year. Our first ever Physical Activity Implementation Plan has key milestones and objectives identified for the next 10 years, and seeks to encourage Scots to enjoy more active and healthier lives.”
Feroz Pater, Head of People at Asda, said, “At Asda, we know that our people are one of our greatest assets and we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of more than 20,000 colleagues in Scotland. With a big year of sport ahead, including the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, 2014 is a perfect opportunity to encourage our colleagues and customers to make physical activity part of their daily life.
“The ‘Fit in 14’ campaign will help us encourage colleagues to incorporate healthier practices into their daily working life, by making just a few simple changes.
“We’re looking forward to taking part and getting Asda Fit in 14.”
For more information about how to get involved with ‘Fit in 14’ please visit www.fitin14.org.
If you want to get Fit in 14, you can register for Scotland’s biggest bike ride freshnlo Pedal for Scotland.