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Community health and physical activities


We work to help reduce risk factors relating to health. Our aim is to improve individual health and wellbeing by providing opportunities for physical activity, lifestyle advice and health information.

Health background

Statistics show that, in some areas, the health of communities in County Durham is poorer than the rest of the country. Rates of obesity in children and adults are higher than the national average especially in areas such as Easington, Sedgefield and Wear Valley and are continuing to rise. Death from circulatory disease, heart disease, stroke and cancers also occurs at a younger age than the national average.

There is a recognised link between poor health and physical inactivity. Research shows that taking part in physical activity can improve an individual's health, confidence and quality of life. Even a small amount of physical activity can lower the risk of developing chronic disease, such as coronary heart disease. Being active not only contributes to improving physical health but also social and emotional health and wellbeing too.

What we do?

We offer a range of programmes, facilities and services at leisure centres and in a variety of community settings. Working with a range of partners, including NHS County Durham, Sport England and local clubs and community organisations, our goal is to increase participation in sport and physical activity and help people to lead more active and healthy lifestyles.

Specialist programmes

The FISCH project (family initiative supporting children's health)

We work within primary schools across County Durham and Darlington, delivering a programme of intervention to children in years 4 and 5, aged 8 to 10-years-old. The project is delivered in primary schools for one term for approximately 10 weeks, within curriculum time, and includes both physical activity and theory-based sessions in relation to healthy lifestyles. An additional physical activity session is available, either before or after school, every week.

MEND

This is a community, family-based programme for overweight and obese children aged between 7 to 13-years-old and their families. The programme places equal emphasis on the Mind, Exercise, Nutrition and Do it! themes. It combines everything known to be vital in treating and preventing being weight problems and obesity in children, including family involvement, practical education in nutrition, increasing physical activity and behavioural change. With importance placed on practical and fun learning, the programme is designed to deliver improvements in a families' overall health and encourage an active lifestyle.

Activities for older people

We offer a community physical activity programme for older adults delivered within our leisure centre and community venues across County Durham, offering a variety of classes including circuits, yoga and dance.

View the  Icon for pdf Community Physical Activity Sessions leaflet (PDF, 363.2kb)  to see our latest classes on offer.

Walking, running and cycling

We work with a range of partners to provide walking, running and cycling opportunities for all abilities around the county. Find out more on our Walking and running and Cycling pages.

If you'd like more information about how you can get involved or about specific schemes in your area, please contact us.

Contact us
Culture and Sport
03000 266 555
Our address is:
  • Regeneration and Local Services
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
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