HC Deb 13 November 2000 vol 356 c450W
Mr. Alan Keen

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what targets he has for getting more people regularly to take exercise; and if he will make a statement. [134150]

Yvette Cooper

I have been asked to reply.

Experts recommend that all adults should participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity five times a week and children should be active for at least an hour every day. In each case, physical activity can include activities like brisk walking, cycling and swimming.

The National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease set out key milestones for the implementation of a range of prevention programmes at a local level. These milestones state that, by April 2001, all NHS bodies, working closely with local authorities, will have agreed and be contributing to the delivery of local programmes on physical activity. By April 2002, all local health communities will have quantitative data on implementation of these policies. The Health Development Agency has compiled a guide for implementing the preventive aspects of the NSF. This will be sent to Health Authorities in November and will provide examples of the projects they can set up in order to reach NSF milestones.

Several Government initiatives are promoting opportunities for people to be more physically active. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has made safer roads a priority in their White Paper 'A New Deal for Transport'. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport have outlined their commitment to improve access to services in their 'Sports Strategy'. There is also a joint DH/DfEE programme to implement the objectives of the 'National Healthy School Standard', which includes physical activity as a component.

Initiatives are in place to promote physical activity among children. The Safe and Sound Challenge, which encourages children to walk or cycle to school along safe routes, has run successfully for two years. In 2000–01, the aim of the scheme will be to offer schools in socially deprived areas the opportunity to develop healthy active modes of travel to school.