Insufficient physical activity is globally the 4th leading risk factor for mortality. People who are insufficiently physically active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared to those who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week.
Participation in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week or its equivalent is estimated to reduce the risk of ischaemic heart disease by approximately 30%, the risk of diabetes by 27%, and the risk of breast and colon cancer by 21%-25%. Additionally, regular physical activity lowers the risk of stroke, hypertension, and depression. It is a key determinant of energy expenditure and thus fundamental to energy balance and weight control.
West Lothian on the Move (WLOTM) aims to:
- increase levels of physical activity across the life stages;
- increase moderate levels of physical activity among the sedentary population;
- increase the number of opportunities available for the least active to become moderately active (in West Lothian these groups equate to approx 100,000 people);
- establish sustainable partnerships;
- increase education and training opportunities for those involved in the promotion of health enhancing physical activity;
- ensure the inclusion of physical activity through the community planning process and associated service plans.
From this work the Paths to Health project- 'Put your West Foot Forward' (PYWFF) has been developed, again reflecting national policies and practice. PYWFF aims to increase activity levels by promoting walking.
This is done by:
- Recruiting and training volunteers to lead walks within the local community.
- Developing materials to promote walking in the local community including maps.
- Providing information and practical tools to those working with people on a daily basis e.g. Practice Nurse, Physio and Social Worker to encourage walking as part of everyday life.
West Lothian walking week will be taking place from Monday 21st September to Sunday 27th September, and this year it will be bigger than ever. Please visit the West Lothian Walks page for further information and how to book.
Booking this year is essential and you can register onto a walk or request a programme by contacting the Health improvement Team on 01506 775626 or 771896 or via email at HIT@westlothian.gov.uk.
West Lothian Community Health Improvement Grants
West Lothian Health Improvement team have a combined small grants budgets from West Lothian on the Move and Eatright West Lothian to offer small grants for health improvement work. We welcome the applications from West Lothian based voluntary and community groups for projects that aim to improve health and reduce health inequalities in West Lothian. Grants of up to £1000 will be available on an annual basis. Bids should aim to tackle inequalities by working with communities which experience poor health or difficulty in accessing health services and/or social services.