Physical inactivity is one of the main modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease and setting healthy habits early in life is essential to stay healthy throughout the lifecourse.
Being active in a big city can be challenging, which is why the Children in the City programme was developed to encourage children aged 7-12 years old living in low-income, urban neighbourhoods, to be more active and improve their attitude and knowledge on physical activity.
Together with our national members, the World Heart Federation WHF and Healthy Stadia successfully piloted the programme in cities across five European countries, following the same approach which starts from the needs of children and parents in a specific setting.
The main barriers to physical activity as well as potential triggers were identified through surveys, research and insight from local partners. Based on the data collected, a number of simple, cost-effective and easily replicable interventions were designed to address those barriers, and then piloted and evaluated in each country.
The data and experience collected represented an opportunity for national partners to reach out to their local authorities and municipalities and advocate for better infrastructure and policies encouraging physical activity in children.
WHF and Healthy Stadia also disseminated this set of best practices in our network. We hope that this portfolio of cost-effective interventions will inspire WHF members, physical activity advocates and other civil society members including grassroots sports clubs to replicate the programme or some of its activities, and start their own project to promote physical activity in children to help reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and help children grow up happy and healthy.
For more information about the Children in the City project and the resources and case studies available for grassroots sports organisations, click the button opposite to visit the World Heart Federation website.