Natalie Don MSP is backing an initiative which is encouraging people of all ages and circumstances to walk, jog, run or wheel a mile each day as part of everyday life to improve health and wellbeing.

The MSP for Renfrewshire North and West is supporting The Daily Mile scheme, which was created in Scotland, adopted by the Scottish Government, and has the objective of encouraging more active lifestyles to improve physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing.

Scottish Household Survey research shows that only 61% of children and 65% of adults in Scotland meet the minimum daily guidelines for physical activity and people’s health is often suffering as a consequence.

2,500 deaths in Scotland each year are related to inactivity and around a quarter (26 per cent) of children aged two to five are at risk of being overweight, including 13% at risk of obesity. 65% of adults are also overweight, with 29% considered to be obese.

Natalie Don MSP said: “Many of us were impressed by the superb performances of athletes during the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games and perhaps think regular running or jogging long distances are beyond our personal capabilities, but we can all consider doing a 15 or 20 minute walk or wheel at our own pace every day or so.

“That’s what the Daily Mile is all about – encouraging us all, regardless of our age or fitness level, to become more physically active to benefit our individual and our communities’ collective health and wellbeing.

“The initiative originally started as a school-based programme as research shows that children’s mental health and fitness improves by increased exercise, and they can carry the benefits into later life.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic having created additional pressures on the physical and mental wellbeing of more people throughout society, we can take steps to improve our physical activity so I encourage community groups, youth organisations and workplaces in addition to nurseries and schools across Renfrewshire North and West to sign up to The Daily Mile and help get us all moving towards a healthier future.”

For more details about The Daily Mile, go to www.thedailymile.co.uk.