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Harlow residents encouraged to get active in June

News / Sat 2nd Jun 2018 at 09:37am

RESIDENTS in Harlow and surrounding areas are being urged to carry out 30 minutes of physical activity every day in June – in a campaign launched by the Active Essex Foundation.

The aim of the campaign is to help raise funds and awareness for the charity which harnesses the positive power of physical activity and sport to engage and support the most deprived communities across Essex. It also hopes to encouraging more people start or increase the amount of physical activity they do every day.

People across Essex can choose to carry out any type of physical activity in the 30:30 challenge, such as walking to school or exploring their local area by bike. The challenge can either be completed in one 30-minute burst or by three 10-minute bouts of activity throughout the day. The challenge can also be varied with different sports tried over the 30-day period.

The campaign has been backed by This Morning’s resident doctor Dr Zoe Williams, a GP and clinical champion for physical activity for Public Health England. Dr Williams is an expert in changing behaviours to help improve health and wellbeing in a range of ages and abilities.

Dr Williams, a 30:30 ambassador, said: “This is a wonderful campaign for Essex and I encourage as many people as possible to take on the 30:30 challenge in June.

“Physical inactivity, classed as doing less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day, is the cause of one in six deaths – the same rate as smoking. Therefore, a strong commitment to regular physical activity is absolutely essential in order to maintain positive health and wellbeing. I have seen first-hand how lives have been transformed by becoming more physically active.

“Exercise is increasingly being rebranded as physical activity which makes this commitment much more achievable and fun, and in the 30:30 challenge, unlike other charity fitness challenges, there are no distances to run, no targets to beat, and no fixed activities. Walking, cycling, and everyday chores in and around the house all count. The only rules are 30 minutes for 30 days.”

Currently, one in five Essex residents do not take part in any physical activity or sport, and the levels of inactivity are highest among people on low incomes, women, those with disabilities or life-limiting illnesses, and unemployed people. Recent research also found that only 20% of 15 year olds are active for an hour each day and 30% of children in Year 6 are overweight or obese.

As part of the 30:30 Essex campaign, the Active Essex Foundation will be sharing local stories and initiatives that have helped inspire people in Harlow to become more active.

This includes Northbrooks FC In Harlow, a new local football club designed to help bridge the gap between school, college and community sport – and provide new opportunities for young people to get active.

The club plays in a local competitive league and trains regularly with a qualified coach. The majority of players are aged under 19 and from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) groups.

Emma Hastings, one of the leads for the project, said: “The project is helping in so many ways it’s hard to put into words. It’s helping them all on a personal journey and it’s amazing to see how a young person can change by just playing football. It has improved issues with mental health, isolation and drug and alcohol. We have many different languages which is a comfort for them. At other clubs this has been an issue.”

The Active Essex Foundation uses sport and physical activity to inspire hard-to-reach and under-represented communities to become more physically active, lead healthier lives, raise aspirations and confidence, and improve mental health.

The foundation works in partnership with local organisations to help individuals and families living in areas of deprivation, at risk young people, people living with physical and mental health challenges, and BAME, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and faith groups.

The foundation’s current project and fundraising activities include working with Motivated Minds, a community interest company in Basildon, to tackle rising issues of mental health disorder, Achievement Through Football to tackle anti-social behaviour in Southend, and Canvey Get Set Youth which engages with youngsters in the Canvey Skate Park and Castle Point areas to create and support a calendar of positive activities.

Active

Get involved in the 30:30 challenge on social media by using the hashtag #3030Essex.

For more information, visit www.activeessexfoundation.org or www.3030essex.com

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