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Scottish Government launches Active Nation crusade

Home of Deep Fried Mars Bar seeks Commonwealth Games legacy of improved health and fitness

The Scottish Government has launched a major initiative to encourage the country’s 5 million inhabitants to lead healthier, more active lifestyles. Called ‘Active Nation’, the campaign seeks to encourage Scots to draw inspiration from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which are being hosted in Glasgow, to motivate them “to increase their physical activity and live longer healthier lives.”

A new website,, allows people to set Personal Activity Goals which it is hoped will enable them to incorporate physical activity – whether walking, cycling, running or something else – as part of their daily routines. That could include, for example, committing to commute to work by bike, or to start riding a certain number of miles each week.

At the same time, the website contains links for people wishing to volunteer to help out on fitness-related activities, whether that be helping marshal events such as bike rides and fun runs, or becoming a Sustrans ranger to help look after the National Cycle Network.

At yesterday’s launch in Glasgow, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health Shona Robison said: "Active Nation is about getting active, having fun and feeling good. It aims to energise and motivate all Scots to increase their physical activity in the run up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and beyond. That will be a games legacy Scotland can be proud of.”

She continued: "For too long Scotland has been seen as the 'sick man of Europe'. Our nation's health is improving but not quickly enough, especially in our most deprived communities.

"As part of our legacy, Active Nation will encourage people to increase their activity levels - recognising that making even a small change can make a difference to their lives.

"This together with our recently launched obesity strategy and our radical plans to tackle alcohol misuse, further reduce smoking levels and encourage healthy diet demonstrates our determination to get to grips with these most pressing of issues," Ms Robison concluded.

A number of partners from both the public and private sectors will be helping deliver the Active Nation initiative, with a number of events carrying its branding in the pipeline.

Improving the nation’s health in the long term is one of the key aims of Scotland’s games legacy plan, launched last year, which set forth how the Scottish Government intends to build a lasting legac not only from Glasgow 2014 but also from other major events such as London 2012 and the 2014 Ryder Cup, which is being held at Gleneagles in Perthshire.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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mad_scot_rider | 14 years ago

It is of course important to remember that this initiative comes from the same bunch of eejits that recently ran a consultation on a bike 'road tax' - completely missing the fact that NO-ONE has paid road-tax since the 1930's.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I'll believe their commitment when I see some cold hard cash spent on facilities to enable the average man on the street to cycle safely.

OldRidgeback | 14 years ago

Finland used to have a heart attack rate as high as Scotland. The country introduced policies aimed at tackling the problem, which worked. Perhaps the Scottish authorities could learn some lessons from Finland and save money, time and lives in the process.

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