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Choosing activity: a physical activity action plan

  • Author:
    Department of Health
  • Published date:
    9 March 2005
  • Primary audience:
    Chief Executives,Professionals
  • Product number:
  • Gateway reference:
  • Series number:
    Cm 6374
  • Pages:
  • Copyright holder:

Choosing Activity: a physical activity action plan sets out Government's plans to encourage and co-ordinate the action of a range of departments and organisations to promote increased participation in physical activity across England. It is a summary of how we will deliver the commitments on physical activity presented in the public health white paper Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier. It brings together all the commitments relating to physical activity in Choosing Health as well as other action across government, which will contribute to increasing levels of physical activity. These include school PE and sport and local action to encourage activity through sport, transport plans, the use of green spaces and by the NHS providing advice to individuals on increasing activity through the use of pedometers.


The Choosing Health White Paper delivery plan outlines the key steps, which we will be taking over the next three years to deliver Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier. In support of the overall delivery plan, this action plan brings together, in one place, all the commitments relating to physical activity contained within the White Paper, as well as further activity across government, which will contribute to increasing levels of physical activity. It provides further detail on both the context, and next steps for action, and represents the first truly cross-government plan to coordinate action aimed at increasing levels of physical activity across the whole population - as recommended by the Game Plan report in 2002.

An active lifestyle is key to improving and maintaining health. However, at present only 37% of men and 24% of women2 are sufficiently active to gain any health benefit. Three in ten boys and four in ten girls aged 2 to 15 are not meeting the recommended levels of physical activity. The challenge we now face is to encourage more people to become more active.

We have consulted widely in producing this plan and the Choosing Health White Paper and Choosing Activity, which preceded it, and are confident that this plan will make an important contribution to getting England active. However, this is only the start. We are committed to reviewing progress, learning from what works best, and developing our strategies in the light of that learning.

We do not underestimate the challenge that faces us in increasing activity levels. Many countries in the world are tackling similar challenges and few have so far achieved a significant increase. Key to the successful delivery of the commitments within this plan will be the contribution and engagement of the voluntary, business and community sectors. Working together will be critical to bringing about change, and supporting individuals to make the changes that build activity back into their lives.

We have consulted, listened and reflected. Now is the time for action and with your help we can build an active society.

Richard Caborn
Minister for Sport

Melanie Johnson
Minister for Public Health

Choosing Activity is backed up by two important new Action Plans:

  • Delivering Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier
  • Choosing a Better Diet: a food and health action plan

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