In Motion

From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

If you’re interested in community health, you may have heard of In motion, a Canadian program who has distinguished itself from others with its impressive results. I am honored to be one of the six ambassadors for In motion in the Southeast region as well as the ambassador representing the Southeast region at the provincial level of In motion.

According to the Healthy Eating and Physical Actvity Coalition, who is responsible for the adoption of the In motion program in New Brunswick, In motion is an evidence-based health promotion strategy which uses physical activity and healthy eating as a means to improving the health of New Brunswick communities. In other words, In motion is an effective program that works because it brings the community together and measures outcomes.

In motion’s main strategy is to use partnerships in the community, sensibilisation and education, targeted efforts, and follow-up research on the program’s efficacy to meet its goals. In motion targets many demographics: children and youth, workplaces, the elderly, inactive adults, diabetes prevention groups, and other at-risk groups.

In motion, while a new program in New Brunswick, originated in Saskatoon in 1999. From 2006 to 2008, Saskatchewan was successful at increasing healthy eating habits by 8% and at reducing inactivity by 7%. On it’s In motion website, Saskatchewan states that its vision is for the people of Saskatchewan to become the healthiest and most physically active in Canada. Perhaps they will with the help of In motion and other public health initiatives.

In New Brunswick, we are currently quite far from being the most physically active in Canada. New Brunswick youth are below the national physical activity averages. A survey used to measure physical activity levels in 2005 found that 28.1% of twelve to seventeen year-olds in New Brunswick were inactive. The term ”inactive” is used to describe people who are physically active for less than 150 minutes a week (Canadian guidelines recommend 90 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis for youth).

As I have mentioned in previous columns, it is crucial for us to realize that action needs to be taken concerning N.B.’s low physical activity levels. In motion may be the catalyst that will encourage New Brunswickers to start moving.

Show your support for N.B.’s Wellness Movement by participating in Wellness Week, which begins October 1st and ends October 7th. Several activities have been planned for Wellness Week; visit http://www.gnb.ca/wellness to access a calendar of the activities.

Those interested in children’s health should take note of the presentations (I have!) that will be given by Dr. Mark Tremblay (“Contemporary Issues and Solutions for Physical Activity”) and Dr. Heather McKay (“Our Children’s Bone Health”) as part of the Superintendent Speaker Series. These presentations will take place at the Bernice MacNaughton High School Auditorium (999 St. George Blvd., Moncton) on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010.  To obtain more information about the presentations, contact Carole Murphy at 506-869-6004.

To know more about the N.B. In motion program in general, please visit http://www.nbinmotion.ca.

Originally published in the Times & Transcript on September 25th, 2010.

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