After seeing their population’s health pale in comparison to its global counterparts, the Irish Government released the Get Ireland Active framework, a year-long event that falls between January and December. Various initiatives have been released to improve Irish society’s health and well-being as a whole. This framework targets educational curriculum in schools, community centers, and other settings, and various literacy programs to encourage lifetime support for various physical and sports recreation.
History of Get Ireland Active
Staying active has several health benefits that we are all aware of. There is even a recommended level of physical activity needed to reduce the global burden of certain illnesses like diabetes, heart problems, and more. Governments across the world began monitoring their citizens’ overall health, and they noticed a troubling trend. Despite public health recommendations promoting physical activity, there are very few people who meet these goals globally. For example, Ireland showed only 34% of adults and 33% of older people met the recommended level of activity.
On average, Irish people reportedly spent 5.3 hours of their workday sitting down as opposed to moving about. Plus, the level of health illnesses caused due to inactivity was higher in Ireland compared to its global counterparts. Europe had 6.8% of the population affected by diabetes, which rose to 10.9% in Ireland. The numbers were also higher for cancer-stricken patients (some cancers are also thought to be brought on by inactivity). These statistics raised concerns about the overall health of the Irish people.
The Irish Government created a special group, co-chaired by the Department of Health and the Department of Transport, Tourism, and Sport, to develop a National Physical Activity Plan to increase physical activity among their population. To make sure everyone’s interests were being represented, they invited various types of stakeholders to participate in the planning process, including people with interests and expertise in physical activity.
The Get Ireland Active plan was launched in January of 2016, with their key target — to increase the number of people performing regular exercise by 1% each year. They planned to give their citizens ample opportunities to get active via various events, campaigns, and even changing curricula in schools and educational institutions. Their plans ran the gamut from long-term to short and concentrated on reshaping the environment itself to encourage more activeness among the general public.
They went on to create an Implementation Group to act on the Get Ireland Active plan’s recommendations (again, with a range of stakeholders from various official governmental organizations like the Departments of Children and Youth Affairs, Education and Skills, and more), a website that serves as a front of information to promote and help with physical activity.
Get Ireland Active timeline
A study conducted in Australia suggests that if people were more active for just 30 minutes a day, Australia could save almost AUS$1.5; this reinforces the world's belief that having a healthy population has great monetary benefits.
A unique initiative encourages more Europeans to become physically active, and thus, healthy.
The Irish Government creates a special project to innovate ways to get Irish people more active; the project members are various official Irish organizations and international experts.
Countries request the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide more guidance to promote physical activity and the WHO responds with a framework to help them scale up policy actions.
Get Ireland Active FAQs
Is the Get Ireland Active plan still active?
Yes, Ireland still hosts events under this initiative. Events have been held as recently as 2021, and more are planned for this year.
Are there any Get Ireland Active events planned for 2023?
Multiple virtual and physical events are in the works for 2023. The final schedule, according to the Get Ireland Active website, is yet to be confirmed.
What is Ireland Active?
Ireland Active is the National Association for Leisure, Health, and Fitness in Ireland. They host multiple events to support the Get Ireland Active initiative.
How to Observe Get Ireland Active
Create an environment for the activity
You don't have to build anything (unless you want to) to create an active-friendly environment around you. Create a little 'exercise corner' in your home, make your backyard play-friendly, research local bike and walking paths, and then use them. Invest a little time to make sure you are ready to get active without any hitches and watch the magic take effect.
The best way to get active...is to get active. Look for ways to incorporate physical activity at home, at school, at the workplace, and even while at rest. Your body and mind will thank you for it eventually.
Encourage others to get active too
Why reap the benefits of good health alone? Spread the word about your healthy habits to influence others to join you. You will be helping to make another person healthy and get an exercise buddy while you're at it!
5 Interesting Facts About Being Active
Diets alone do not help
Staying active (aka exercising), combined with a good diet, is more effective for weight loss.
Change your exercise routine
The human body adapts to a workout routine in around six to eight weeks, so changing up exercises with each season leaves you better off than if you kept doing the same thing over and over again.
Staying active with a group is better
Studies indicate working out with other people boosts brain activity; plus, people are more inclined to actually keep being active when others around them are doing the same thing.
Cheat days without (much) guilt
Regular activity keeps you more fit, so having a cheat day or two won't have as much of an effect as one done when you are not working out at all.
Staying active is good for the brain
Multiple studies show more active people have better memory and brain functions; young adults who stayed active also could focus better and control their emotions well when they became middle-aged adults.
Why Get Ireland Active is Important
Staying active is important
We've got the evidence to support this fact. People who are physically and mentally stronger are more confident and independent too.
It can increase global health standards
Taking Ireland's example to heart can improve people's interest in staying active, thus, preventing incidences of illnesses and increasing health outcomes overall.
Such programs are socially important too
A large-scale event like the Get Ireland Active initiative encourages everyone across the country to come together for a common goal. People are pushed together, as they learn to engage with their neighbors and community.
Get Ireland Active dates