Working families in Scotland should spend more quality time outdoors

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A major charity initiative is urging families across Scotland to get active outside to protect their wellbeing.

A UK-wide survey commissioned by the National Charity Partnership, a collaboration between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, found that almost three in four (74 per cent) adults in the region would rather stay indoors watching TV and films than spending time outdoors with their family.

The National Charity Partnership is concerned that that generally low rates of outdoor activities could be having a detrimental long-term effect on the health of thousands of people across the region.

More people than ever before are being diagnosed with either Type 2 diabetes or heart and circulatory disease. Spending time outside by walking, cycling, running or playing games as a family could help reduce the likelihood of developing both conditions.

The study found that on the days they work, around one in three (30 per cent) of parents in Scotland reported spending spend less than two hours a day with their children, yet over four in five (84 per cent) said they would like to spend more time with their children outdoors.

Only one in five (20 per cent) of working parents in Scotland say they go to the park or visit an outdoor play area as a family.

The Partnership is encouraging people to use the free, online eight week challenge tool, which helps people to set and monitor health-related targets and stay on track to achieve their goals.

Alex Davis, Head of Prevention for the National Charity Partnership, said: “Many thousands of people are living with either Type 2 diabetes or heart and circulatory disease in Scotland. These conditions are potentially life-threatening, but they are also largely preventable.”

“Even a ten minute stroll around the park with your children can help reduce the risk of these conditions, but many of us can struggle with this.

“Any kind of moderate exercise such as walking, cycling and playing games outdoors can help to make a big difference to your physical health and to the health of your family.”

The National Charity Partnership is running a campaign, Let’s Do This, to support adults to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease by taking small steps towards healthier lifestyles.

The Partnership is also funding the Healthy Living Festival on Saturday 29 July, as part of the Scottish Pipe Band Championship in Dumbarton.

For more information about Let’s Do This and to sign up for physical activity programmes in your area, please visit lets-dothis.org.uk.