Kudos to Amherst for encouraging physical activity

Published on October 7, 2016

To the Editor, 

In Augusut, the Town of Amherst took a significant and historic first step to create the conditions to improve youth health in Cumberland County.  This action will help create the conditions to improve youth health in Amherst and Cumberland County.

Nova Scotia has some of the poorest health statistics in the country.  To address these health issues, we need to focus on creating environments that will enable citizens and communities to access the resources needed to improve their health.  Research has shown that low-income individuals and families have poorer health and lower rates of physical activity compared to those with more personal and social resources.  This project will help reduce the barriers to physical activity facing youth. 

Additionally, this project is as example of a healthy public policy – a policy that aims to create supportive environment to enable people to lead healthy lives. These policies make healthy choices possible and easier for community members.

This is not the first time the Town of Amherst has developed forward thinking policies. Smoke-free places, municipal alcohol policies and access to walking trails and green spaces reflect your town’s committee to creating health. 

Thank you for your leadership and congratulations again on this decision.

Dr. Ryan Sommers, MD CCFP FRCPC

Medical Officer of Health, Northern Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority and Family Physician