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#3030Essex – Active Essex wants you to take their June challenge

Residents in Brentwood and surrounding areas are being urged to carry out 30 minutes of physical activity every day in June – in a campaign launched by the Active Essex Foundation.

Active Essex Director Jason Fergus came in to talk about the #3030Essex Challenge and how people can get involved. You can hear his interview again here:

The aim of the campaign is to help raise funds and awareness for the charity which harnesses the positive power of physical activity and sport to engage and support the most deprived communities across Essex. It also hopes to encouraging more people start or increase the amount of physical activity they do every day.

People across Essex can choose to carry out any type of physical activity in the 30:30 challenge, such as walking to school or exploring their local area by bike. The challenge can either be completed in one 30-minute burst or by three 10-minute bouts of activity throughout the day. The challenge can also be varied with different sports tried over the 30-day period.

The campaign has been backed by This Morning’s resident doctor Dr Zoe Williams, a GP and clinical champion for physical activity for Public Health England. Dr Williams is an expert in changing behaviours to help improve health and wellbeing in a range of ages and abilities.

Dr Williams, a 30:30 ambassador, said: “This is a wonderful campaign for Essex and I encourage as many people as possible to take on the 30:30 challenge in June.

“Physical inactivity, classed as doing less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day, is the cause of one in six deaths – the same rate as smoking. Therefore, a strong commitment to regular physical activity is absolutely essential in order to maintain positive health and wellbeing. I have seen first-hand how lives have been transformed by becoming more physically active.

“Exercise is increasingly being rebranded as physical activity which makes this commitment much more achievable and fun, and in the 30:30 challenge, unlike other charity fitness challenges, there are no distances to run, no targets to beat, and no fixed activities. Walking, cycling, and everyday chores in and around the house all count. The only rules are 30 minutes for 30 days.”

Currently, one in five Essex residents do not take part in any physical activity or sport, and the levels of inactivity are highest among people on low incomes, women, those with disabilities or life-limiting illnesses, and unemployed people. Recent research also found that only 20% of 15 year olds are active for an hour each day and 30% of children in Year 6 are overweight or obese.

The Active Essex Foundation uses sport and physical activity to inspire hard-to-reach and under-represented communities to become more physically active, lead healthier lives, raise aspirations and confidence, and improve mental health.

The foundation works in partnership with local organisations to help individuals and families living in areas of deprivation, at risk young people, people living with physical and mental health challenges, and BAME (women and girls, black, Asian and minority ethnic), LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and faith groups.

The foundation’s current project and fundraising activities include working with Motivated Minds, a community interest company in Basildon, to tackle rising issues of mental health disorder, Achievement Through Football to tackle anti-social behaviour in Southend, and Canvey Get Set Youth which engages with youngsters in the Canvey Skate Park and Castle Point areas to create and support a calendar of positive activities.

Get involved in the 30:30 challenge on social media by using the hashtag #3030Essex.

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