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Community Pract. 2007 Mar;80(3):28-32.

Promoting physical activity: walking programmes for mothers and children.

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Bradford and Airedale Teaching Primary Care Trust.


This article considers the development of two walking programmes by a health visiting team to encourage parents and children to undertake regular exercise. Government reports have stressed the importance of regular physical activity to promote physical and mental health. A survey of physical activity within a semi-rural caseload highlighted that the majority of families did not take regular exercise to maintain health. A programme of walks for post-natal mothers and a programme of activity walks for parents and young children were developed. Evaluation indicated that the walking programmes provided an acceptable and supported opportunity for parents and children to participate in physical activity. Participants increased their levels of regular physical activity and reported psychological benefits. This initiative demonstrates that health visitors have a key role in influencing, enabling and supporting people to participate in health activities.

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