Fit for purpose

I refer to recent findings published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health which reported that Scotland’s children were amongst the laziest in the world (your report, 21 May).

These are worrying findings and there is a need now, more than ever, to increase every child’s activity levels.

While not every child can be an athlete, physical exercise at this age is vital for a child’s physical and emotional development and well-being.

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In uniformed organisations such as The Boys’ Brigade, play and physical activity play an integral part in what we do.

Whether it be team sports such as football, or more challenging outdoor pursuits like rafting, cycling and hiking, our ethos is to make sport and other activities fun and engaging for our 20,000 members, aged from five to 18. A recent survey among our teenage membership showed 52 per cent spend three hours or more in sporting activities each week, with 15 per cent taking part in excess of ten hours.

It doesn’t take much – an hour of activity per day makes a huge difference – but if our children are allowed to live sedentary lifestyles, we are building up
towards health problems linked to obesity and inactivity in later life.

Bill Stevenson

The Boys’ Brigade