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New Guidelines announced to support disabled children and young people to become more physically active

Local Disabled children and young people will be supported to be more physically active following the publication of new guidelines from the UK Chief Medical Officers.

Published 7 March 2022
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Local Disabled children and young people will be supported to be more physically active following the publication of new guidelines from the UK Chief Medical Officers.

The guidelines, the first of its kind, has been co-produced with disabled children, young people and their families. It aligns with Wiltshire Council's Business Plan priority 'We Stay Active' and includes recommendations for levels of daily physical activity and supports disabled children and young people to improve their physical and mental health throughout their lives.

Underpinned by research from Durham University, the University of Bristol and Disabilities Rights UK, the new guidelines recommend disabled children and young people:

  • Undertake 120 to 180 minutes of aerobic physical activity throughout the week at a moderate-to-vigorous intensity.
  • Complete challenging, but manageable, strength and balance activities three times per week which are particularly beneficial for muscle strength and motor skills.
  • Break down exercise into bite-size chunks of physical activity throughout the day to make it more manageable.

As with any new exercise regime it is advisable to build up slowly to avoid injury.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Leisure, said: I am pleased to see these new guidelines as they directly correspond with the Empowered People theme of our newly adopted ten-year Business Plan, especially the 'We Stay Active' section of our mission, which aims to help people of Wiltshire increase their activity levels and improve their health.

The guidelines set out are a huge step forward in encouraging disabled people to become more physically active. Raising awareness of the physical and mental health benefits associated with sport and physical activity can only be seen as a positive move to improving the health and wellbeing of disabled children and young people.

We are pleased to be able to support and deliver activities in line with the guidelines through the delivery of our Ability Sports programme across the county.

Wiltshire Council provide a range of physical activities for children and young people with a disability through the Ability Sports programme. The programme offers a variety of accessible and inclusive activities for disabled people of all ages and provides them with opportunities to become more active.

The Ability Sports programme includes:

  •  weekly multi-sports clubs engaging children, young people and adults in Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge
  • sport specific sessions including boccia, wheelchair basketball, adapted cycling and swimming
  • school holiday provision as part of Wiltshire Councils FUEL programme, providing fun activities and a healthy, nutritious lunch during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays
  • Get Out, Get Active (GOGA) projects, supporting disabled and non-disabled people to be active together. The GOGA programme forms part of a wider initiative developed by the national charity Activity Alliance.
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