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Wednesday 6 April 2016

Dr Hill encourages says encouraging children to be more active can lead positively into adulthood

The theme of this year’s World Day of Physical Activity,  on 6 April, is ‘Active Child; Healthy Adult’. Dr Ali Hill, a Registered Nutritionist and Course Leader for BSc Sport Coaching at Southampton Solent University talks about how encouraging children to be more active can have long-lasting effects on health and well-being in adulthood.

The World Health Organisation state that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for mortality globally, causing approximately 3.2 million deaths each year across the word.

“Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, certain types of cancers, and depression. Encouraging children to be more active can have long-lasting effects on physical activity and health in adulthood.

“Physical activity can be anything that gets you moving – walking, cycling, running or playing sports. It isn’t as hard to fit in to your day as you might think. It can be as easy as going to the park to play football; parking further away from the store when you’re shopping; or even getting off the bus a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way.

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“A school in Scotland introduced the ‘daily mile’ in which children run or walk a mile a day, in addition to their PE classes. It’s been so successful in improving their health and wellbeing that last year the Scottish government wrote to all primary schools in Scotland to encourage them to introduce physical activity to their daily activities.

“Introducing physical activity as a part of family life doesn’t have to be difficult either. Here in Southampton I will be taking part in the ABP Family Fun Run with my  two year old son on 23 April. Hopefully it will be first of many such activities we do together.”

More physical activity recommendations can be found on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-physical-activity-guidelines

Dr Ali Hill is a Registered Nutritionist and Course Leader for BSc Sport Coaching at Southampton Solent University. Her areas of academic expertise are nutrition, healthy eating, diet and physical activity. She also specialises in nutrition for athletes and events (eg first marathon/triathlon); foetal programming (effect of diet in pregnancy on the offspring in later life); obesity; fats; and diet and the immune system.