Knowsley’s Director of Public Health has published a new report – Keeping Knowsley Active – on the importance of leading an active lifestyle for maintaining and managing all aspects of health and mental health and wellbeing.
The report showcases the many public health initiatives supporting residents to get more active including services and programmes delivering support to help improve an individual’s physical activity levels and the planning policies helping to create health promoting environments.
It also focuses on the benefits of getting active outdoors and the positive impact the natural environment and green spaces can have on mental health and wellbeing
The report highlights a selection of the services, programmes and initiatives on offer across the borough encouraging residents of all ages to get more active in their local communities and workplaces, including:
Keeping children and young people active
The borough’s childcare providers have been supported to introduce the Daily Toddle which promotes outdoor movement in the under-fives and there are activities for children and their families on offer in Knowsley’s children’s centres and from other early years’ providers.
Knowsley’s leisure centres offer junior gym memberships and swimming lessons and there are also lots of local groups offering opportunities for children and young people to take part in football, gymnastics, dancing and marital arts.
Older children can make use of the BMX track based at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park and Knowsley Youth Mutual offer a range of sports and activities for 11 to 19 year olds including the indoor climbing wall at Our Place, sports activities and ‘This Girl Can’ girls’ only sessions.
Support for schools
Knowsley School Sports Partnership offer support to schools to develop PE and school sport to ensure all five to 18 year olds have access to high quality education and sport in the school setting.
The industry generated ‘sugar tax levy’, has been used by Knowsley Council to develop a package of activities encouraging health promoting school environments across the borough’s 20 community primary schools including the enhanced healthy lifestyle programme and the outdoor class room programme ‘Change It’.
As the report clarifies, physical activity doesn’t have to mean exercise and the recommended levels of activity for adults can be met by making small changes to everyday life, such as walking part of the way to and from work, taking the stairs instead of the lift/ escalator and carrying out household chores and gardening.
However, for people who prefer more structured physical activity, Knowsley’s five leisure centres offer a variety of health and fitness facilities such as the latest gym equipment, fitness classes, swimming pools, 3G football pitches and badminton/ squash courts. There is also green gym equipment installed at 15 outdoor sites across the borough.
Knowsley’s Working Well Programme, delivered by the Chamber of Commerce, encourages workplaces to achieve eight workplace health standards to promote and encourage positive health and wellbeing for staff, one of these standards covers physical activity.
Keeping active in older age, as in the rest of life, is essential to staying fit, mobile and independent as well as reducing social isolation and loneliness. Knowsley’s Environmental Sustainability Service offers walking for health activities which includes memory walks for people with dementia.
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:
“As the report clearly illustrates the more active we are, the greater the benefit to our health and wellbeing, not to mention it can also help prevent and manage a number of long-term conditions including heart disease and diabetes.
“Getting active can be lots of fun too and it’s never too late to start!
“With so much going on in Knowsley to support local residents to become more active there’s sure to be something you will enjoy doing, and we will continue to raise awareness of the many fantastic facilities, programmes and services on offer.”
The annual report produced by Knowsley’s Director of Public Health – Keeping Knowsley Active – was endorsed by members at a full meeting of the Council on Wednesday 29 January.