Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Parents and guardians are encouraged to increase their children’s physical activities on a daily basis and support efforts to promote a healthier Virgin Islands.
The appeal was made as the Ministry of Health and Social Development joins with other organisations around the world to observe World Day for Physical Activity on Wednesday, April 6 under the theme, “Active Child Healthy Adult.”
Coordinator for Health Promotions Services and Focal Point for Non Communicable Diseases, Ms. Ivy George said the theme is welcomed as it is in keeping with the ministry’s objectives to promote the importance of physical activity in an effort to improve the health of the population from toddlers to seniors.
Ms. George said the Ministries of Health and Social Development and Education and Culture along with the sporting community are working with the British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee to adopt the Canadian Sport for Life Long-term Athlete Development and Physical Literacy framework.
She said “The framework is comprised of seven stages and the first three targets children. Phase one is called the active years and targets children between zero and six. The second stage of development fundamentals targets males six to nine and females six to eight and the third stage focuses on training and targets boys ages nine to 12 and girls ages eight to 11.”
Ms. George outlined that the framework will also help to ensure that the Territory’s population becomes active for life. She said the programme will be delivered through health education and recreations agencies, and a number of awareness activities will be done throughout the year, to raise awareness of the importance of getting children to be more active throughout their childhood.
Ms. George added, “Parents can encourage children to play with a family pet rather than video games, take the child to the park, let the child choose activities that interest them, dancing, flying kites, riding bikes, swimming and walking the dog are all great activities that would promote physical activity for your child.”
World Day for Physical Activity seeks to reduce the rate of physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle in the general population, and promote the adoption of active lifestyles. The day’s activities also aim to raise awareness on the epidemic of inactivity and the importance of an active lifestyle in proving health and preventing chronic non-communicable diseases.
The community is encouraged to engage with their children in observance of Physical Activity Day on Wednesday, April 6 as the Ministry of Health and Social Development continues to advocate for a healthier Virgin Islands.