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Improve Scotland's Physical Activity Levels by Making Full and Proper Use of jogscotland

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Improve Scotland's Physical Activity Levels by Making Full and Proper Use of jogscotland

According to the Scottish Government, ‘'physical inactivity contributes to nearly 2,500 deaths in Scotland and costs the NHS around £91 million per year’'.

Here's the percentage of the Scottish population that meet the Scot Gov guidelines for physical activity:

Year    Old Guidelines   New Guidelines
2008       38%
2009       37%
2010       39%
2011        39%
2012        38%                62%
2013                                64%
2014                                63% 
2015                                63%
(source - Scottish Health Survey)

It's clear that whatever's been done to try and improve these figures isn't working.

Cutting funding to jogscotland probably won't help.

Scot Gov allocated an extra £2m to sport (with jogscotland to receive just £60k of that) over two years to try and improve the situation - but the physically inactive don't "do" sport. The "Couch to 5k" (C25k) scheme precisely targets those individuals and takes them from a very low level of fitness to a point where they feel more self confident and physically capable of taking part in sport.

A trial C25k course attracted forty participants at our local Leven jogscotland group recently - all people who thought themselves incapable of taking part in a jogscotland session. We discovered that there are people who think that even the gentle jogscotland scheme isn't for them. But a "Couch to 5k" is. They then see how accessible jogscotland really is and move on to exercising long term. Approx 95% considered themselves to be "physically inactive" when they started.

jogscotland is busy gathering data about its members using the barcode scheme but there's some data available already - figures on the Scot Gov website (Scottish Athletics "Sport for Everyone") states that jogscotland has 40,000 members and that 69% of them were physically inactive when they joined - that's almost 28,000 people - without any advertising. Imagine the effect if it was advertised - add the potential numbers from a properly promoted and supported "Couch to 5k" scheme and there could be a substantial increase in the physically inactive becoming active.

Here's a proposal intended to help improve this situation :

Scot Gov to allocate £250k over two years to fund the training of four additional Jog Leaders per jogscotland group specifically in how to promote and run "Couch to 5k" courses. This will give jogscotland an income stream with the remaining money being spent on the advertising and promotion of jogscotland and "Couch to 5k", especially on NHS Scotland and associated agencies' websites. Each jogscotland group to then hold two ten-week long C25k courses a year.

Once again - '‘physical inactivity contributes to nearly 2,500 deaths in Scotland and costs the NHS around £91 million per year".

Maybe now is the time to start using the fantastic national resource that is jogscotland to its fullest and improve these disappointing figures.

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