The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


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One active Christmas gift can improve your child’s health, say physios

CSP press release published on 20 November 2009

Physiotherapists are recommending that people buying Christmas presents for children this year should include one gift that encourages active play, to help kids achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day (see note 1).

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is concerned that none of the 'Dream Toys' being recommended by the Toy Retailers' Association (TRA) in its annual list of popular Christmas gifts for children (see note 2) encourage play that is sufficiently energetic to help keep kids healthy.

As part of the CSP's Move for Health Kids campaign, which promotes the importance of physical activity for children's health, physiotherapists are suggesting a list of alternatives to this year's big sellers. Including JUST ONE of these toys in a child's Christmas stocking will help them have some healthy fun with active play.

To help would-be Santas complement the traditional options with a more active gift, and staying within the affordable £50 price limit set by the TRA, physiotherapists have come up with the following wishlist (in no particular order):

  1. Skipping rope
  2. Roller skates
  3. Football
  4. Hula hoop
  5. Frisbee
  6. Basketball hoop
  7. Tennis racquet
  8. Swimming goggles
  9. Plug in and play dance mat
  10. Pogo stick
  11. Nintendo Wii Fit Plus game*
  12. Trainers/plimsolls

Physiotherapist Linda Beckett, who runs healthy schools programmes to help counter childhood obesity, explains: "Christmas is an ideal opportunity to introduce kids to fun active play. Alongside usual presents like dolls, board games or building blocks, physiotherapists are advising that just one piece of sporting equipment or an energetic toy or game in their stockings will help children to get a bit of vital exercise while they enjoy their gifts.

"The presents on our wishlist are as reasonably priced as those on the list from the Toy Retailers' Association, if not more so, meaning that keeping your kids active and protecting their long-term health doesn't need to break the bank. *Recommended by the Department of Health's Change for Life campaign, of which the CSP is an official partner.

Notes to editors

  1. To help children avoid obesity and conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, they should aim to be physically active at a moderate intensity for one hour every day, and eat a healthy balanced diet. Their heart rate should increase, but conversation should still be possible. It's ok to break activity into easier 15-minute slots throughout the day. See this website for further advice and more information on our Move for Health Kids campaign
  2. Celebrate A Price Crunching Christmas Press release from The Toy Retailers' Association, Wednesday 28 October 2009
  3. For further information please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111, or email Out of hours please call Jennie Edmondson, Head of Press and PR, on 07786 332197.
  4. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 48,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants.
  5. NHS referrals to physiotherapy can be gained through your GP, or you can contact your local NHS physiotherapy department, to find out how you can get an appointment. Alternatively, find a private physiotherapist near you via physio2u:


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