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  1. ITV Report

People in Greater Manchester urged to think differently about getting active

A man doing the vacuuming Credit: Frank May/DPA/PA Images

People in Greater Manchester are being encouraged to think differently about getting active.

A new campaign wants people to aim to be moving for 30 minutes a day but in a way that suits them.

Experts say everything counts from walking to school and getting off the bus a stop early to dancing while doing the vacuuming!

The campaign’s central message is that moving for just 30 minutes a day can be fun, social and bring loads of benefits, like feeling happier, more confident and sleeping well, as well as helping towards long-term health.

Led by the Greater Manchester Moving team, That Counts! forms part of the ambitious local plan to overcome long-term environmental barriers to physical activity.

It is currently thought 6 in 10 children and more than a third of adults aren’t moving enough.

Hundreds of organisations have pledged their support, including leisure facilities, sports clubs, community groups, businesses and charities.

The aim is to reduce inactivity and get 2 million people in Greater Manchester moving more by 2021.

One of the local stars of That Counts is 33-year-old Laura Noden from Wythenshawe, who transformed her life following the birth of her son James, now five. Being unfit and overweight meant Laura struggled when James was a baby. But with support to make small changes in her life, moving more and changing her diet, Laura now leads a healthy lifestyle.

Levels of activity in Greater Manchester have trailed behind the national and North West average, but the community-focused campaign aims to change that.

Latest official statistics show Greater Manchester has higher inactivity levels than both the North West and England averages.

27%
Adults in Greater Manchester who are active for fewer than 30 minutes a week
35%
Young people in Greater Manchester who are active for fewer than 30 minutes a week

Only one-in-five children is active enough outside school and almost a quarter of pupils (22%) start school overweight – increasing to more than one-in-three (35%) when leaving primary school. Both rates are much higher than the rest of the country.

However, studies show an appetite among people in Greater Manchester to do more and two-thirds of locals (67%) want to be more active.

Many are finding it difficult to move enough in their everyday lives though, with one in four (25%) not having enough time, nearly a third (32%) feeling too tired and more than a quarter (26%) put off by the weather.

"Greater Manchester residents are already taking great strides to become more active – and we’re tackling inactivity three times faster than the national average. We’ve got a lot to celebrate, but there’s still some way to go and barriers we can start to tackle as a community."

– Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

That Counts! will be seen across the city and in all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester, including local neighbourhoods, shopping centres and transport networks.

There will also be pilot community initiatives running throughout Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

GM Moving aims to help improve health and reduce inequalities for residents in the city region by 2021.

What counts towards your 30?

  • You can feel your heart pumping faster
  • You’re feeling warmer
  • You’re getting a bit sweaty
  • You’re breathing faster