People in Kintyre who have a sedentary lifestyle are reaping health benefits thanks to an award-winning programme of exercise at Campbeltown’s Aqualibrium.
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) has awarded Argyll and Bute Council’s ArgyllActive Exercise on Referral programme a bronze award in its annual excellence awards for 2015.
The programme provides a route for doctors, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals to refer anyone over the age of 16 who may be suffering from a wide range of conditions, from diabetes to coronary heart disease, to take part in supervised exercise class sessions.
The council’s Policy Lead for Community and Culture, Councillor Robin Currie, said, “Encouraging people to undertake regular physical activity and live healthier, independent lives is a core aim of the council in building strong communities.
“The council recognises the benefits of lifelong physical activity and ArgyllActive was developed to enable people who are unable, for a variety of reasons, to take regular exercise and to provide through referrals a ‘prescription for exercise’ as an alternative to a purely medical approach.
“I would like to congratulate all the staff involved in delivering this programme and thank them for their hard work and commitment.”
Since being introduced in 2011 the programme in the Campbeltown area, in partnership with NHS Highland, has seen a total of 166 referrals, with a 71% increase between 2011/12 and 2013/14.
Feedback shows that 91% of people who started the programme rated it Good or Excellent.
The number of people who carried on exercising at Aqualibrium after the programme has gone up by 45% over the period 2011/12 to 2013/14.
The cost of attending the programme is £2.90 per session, a saving of £1.40 on the normal class price, allowing people who have been referred to access classes at a discounted rate as well as having access to the mainstream maintenance classes once they have completed the initial eight week programme.
The classes are held in the gym and pool area of Aqualibrium with four sessions each week to chose from.
The ArgyllActive team at Aqualibrium won a bronze award in the category Tackling Inequalities and Improving Health.
The Scottish Government has advised national weekly activity targets of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on at least five days a week.