New National Physical Activity Plan aims to get 500,000 more people exercising regularly

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has said that Ireland’s first ever National Physical Activity Plan, which will aim to get half a million more people taking regular exercise, will greatly benefit our battle against obesity.

“Tackling obesity, and particularly childhood obesity, is of the utmost importance in terms of ensuring our health, and the health of our children and future generations. With the youngest population in the State, it is essential that we promote physical activity in our local community to ensure both us, and our children, live longer and healthier lives.

“In Ireland today, only 32% of adults, 19% of primary pupils, and 12% of post-primary students actually meet the national physical activity recommendations. Furthermore, 1 in 4 of our children are unfit, overweight or obese, and have elevated blood pressure levels. Such alarming facts show the importance of acting now to encourage more people to engage in regular physical activity and exercise.

“I am pleased that the Government has launched the new National Physical Activity Plan which aims to increase the number of people partaking in regular exercise by 1% each year over the next 10 years. This would be an increase of roughly 50,000 people per year, totalling half a million people.

“Under this Plan, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment will finalise a new PE curriculum framework at Senior Cycle level while a new topic called ‘Wellbeing’ will be launched next September as part of the new Junior Cycle, to include Physical Education.

“Our on-going economic recovery, brought about by the hard sacrifices made by the Irish people and the policies of this Government, means that we can now invest in key public services, and key public health areas such as this. Fine Gael has a long-term economic plan which will see further job creation, and affordable, sustainable improvements in the services from which we all benefit.

“We are seeing economic progress, with over 135,000 more people at work. Our economic plan will allow us to continue to invest in public services, and areas such as public health, which are essential for the betterment of our society and the well-being of everyone in Dublin Fingal, and across the country. It is now more important than ever, given that our public finances have improved greatly, that the State and Fingal County Council invest in recreational facilities throughout our community.”