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November 23, 2005
For immediate release

Province Releases Physical Activity Strategy for Prince Edward Island

Community and Cultural Affairs

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is one of the ten global causes of death and disability. Today, the Honourable Elmer MacFadyen, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs released a strategy designed to increase physical activity among Islanders.

“The Prince Edward Island Physical Activity Strategy follows up on the Healthy Living Strategy and the commitment of federal, provincial and territorial ministers to increase physical activity levels by 10 percentage points by 2010,” said Minister MacFadyen. “The benefits of physical activity are tremendous and far reaching, affecting our overall health and well being, contributing to community development, and reducing our ever-increasing health care costs.”

The Physical Activity Strategy outlines a collaborative approach to move Islanders down the path of wellness through physical activity. This strategy is the third pillar of the Provincial Healthy Living Strategy and complements the work currently being carried out through the Healthy Eating Alliance and the PEI Tobacco Reduction Alliance.

The strategy makes twenty-six recommendations in the key areas of children and youth, seniors, women, at-risk groups and communications. The strategy sets out the collective responsibility of individuals, parents, schools, communities, employers, organizations and government to support opportunities for increased physical activity and explains the many benefits of a physically active lifestyle and population.

“Up to 25 per cent of all medical costs can be attributed to smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and poor nutrition. Creating increased opportunities for Islanders to participate in physical activity and ensuring proper facilities to support physical activity are critical to decreasing health care costs, creating a healthy workforce, supporting the growth and development of our young people and improving the overall wellness of society,” said Minister MacFadyen. “Every individual in the province needs to take more responsibility for their individual health including adding adequate fitness to their daily routines. The Physical Activity Strategy is intended to make it easier for Islanders to increase their activity levels.”

The strategy was recently presented to Cabinet who directed the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs to review the recommendations and begin to work on an implementation plan.

The Physical Activity Strategy was developed by a steering committee including representation from Community and Cultural Affairs, the provincial school system, Active Living Alliance, Sport PEI, Recreation and Facilities Association, PEI Division of the Canadian Cancer Society, Island Fitness Institute, UPEI Director of Wellness, Federation of PEI Municipalities, Home and School Federation, Health and Social Services and Veterans Affairs Canada.

Media Contact: Jennifer MacLeod
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