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P2. Physical Activity Guidelines
1 January, 2013
Submitted: 30 April, 2015
Through your physical activity pledges you will be working with employees, customers/consumers and/or local communities. For each group (as applicable) please describe the specific activities or projects you have undertaken over the past year.
For example, employee incentive schemes to promote physical activity, awareness raising activities or improvements to facilites to promote active travel.
Not applicable: the Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF) is an independent, multi-disciplinary group of experts in the fields of obstetrics and midwifery, paediatrics, neonatology, health visiting, dietetics and child psychology, specialising in providing practical advice from preconception to preschool. It has no employees.
For example, supporting/sponsoring local physical activity programmes, promoting physical activity to customers through website campaigns or in-store materials.
Although, the early years are now well-established as critical to influencing health outcomes in later life, and whilst the past ten years have seen a growing commitment to early years intervention, obesity is still a major public health issue that continues to threaten the health of younger people. England is the ninth fattest nation in Europe, and one in four seven to 11-year-olds are overweight or obese[i]. There is a clear need to focus earlier on in the life cycle, to influence nutrition and life choices. The ITF has therefore expanded its remit to include pregnancy and preconception as a critical window of opportunity to improve the health of the next generation. New resources include:
REPORT: Early Nutrition for Later Health: Time to Act Earlier, calling for nutrition and lifestyle guidance (including exercise) in preconception and pregnancy to be a public health priority. This is supported by an ongoing campaign hashtag #ActEarlier4Health.
Healthy Eating for Pregnancy Factsheet with guidance and tips on nutrition and exercise.
Two seasonal, online activity calendars with fun ideas for parents to keep their toddlers active in the summer and in the run-up to Christmas.
The ITF website has gained traffic month-on-month over the last year, and now averages 11,000 monthly visitors. The 'Portion Sizes for Children aged 1 - 4' remains the biggest draw to the website. Media outreach in 2014 reached over 284 million people. The ITF's Twitter channel @InfTodForum was launched in 2014 and continues to grow and gather new followers at the rate of one per day.
[i] European Association for the Study of Obesity. Facts and Statistics. 2013. Available at http://easo.org/task-forces/childhood-obesity-cotf/facts-statistics Last accessed 21.02.14
For example, support for community-based physical activity programmes (such as funding, sponsorship or other promotion activity), working with local partners to engage communities is physical activity opportunities.
Early years providers: The ITF continues to work on the distribution of its flagship resource - the Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers, to early years settings around the UK, to ensure toddlers are getting the correct diet and the right amount of exercise (available on the ITF website) and in 2015 the Forum is launching a new resource - Ten Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy - to ensure parents-to-be are getting the right diet and exercise, along with best-practice for lifestyle choices. The new Ten Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy and will roll out this new resource for healthcare professionals (HCPs), early years practitioners and parents/parents-to-be in partnership with the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
Encouraging activity throughout pregnancy in line with DOH recommendations will be a key element of this programme. A before-and-after survey of Childrenu2019s Centre staff and early years practitioners will provide measurable data on the positive behavioural change which this resource will promote.
The Physical Activity and Play Factsheet continues to be a popular resource generating more than 1,000 downloads.
ITF has continued to promote its iPhone app "Tot It Up" which has had 2,500+ downloads to date and provides recommendations on the amount of activity a toddler should take per day. In the coming year the ITF plans to evolve this into a resource to be hosted on its website, broadening its reach from just iPhone users to anyone with an internet browser.
In the last year, the ITF has become a member of All Party Parliamentary Groups for 100 Critical Days and A Fit and Healthy Childhood, and its data has been used to influence policy through inclusion in the APPG for a Fit and Healthy Childhood's report The Early Years.
The revised Chief Medicial Officers (CMO) guidelines provide physical activity recommendations for four distinct age groups. From the following list, please indicate the age groups you have focused on in disseminating the guidelines (if unknown, please explain why):
Early years (under 5s), Children & young people (5-18), Adults (19-64), Older adults (65+)
Early years - ITF resources offer practical advice to parents and the HCPs who advise them on diet, lifestyle and exercise.
Adults - ITF produced a report for HCPs and parents highlighting best-practice in preconception and pregnancy for nutrition, lifestyle and exercise.
Please estimate the number of people reached through your activities on this pledge and explain how you arrived at this estimate:
Total circulation for media outreach to consumer and professional/medical/trade media conducted in 2014 was circa 284,000,000. The Tot It Up app has been downloaded over 2,500 times from the Apple App Store. The ITF had a presence at seven professional meetings in 2014 including the CPHVA conference and two Public Health England events, reaching hundreds of early years practitioners, HCPs and public sector workers.
We would be interested to know if your pledge activity over the last year has delivered a measurable increase in participation in physical activity. If so, please describe and provide an estimate of the level of increase and how you measured this. There is a 2000-character limit when completing this section.
The continued rollout of the Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers has produced measurable results in early years settings, with a proven increase in positive behaviours for toddlers in settings using the resource, with improvements in diet, exercise and behaviour.
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