IT'S been a record-breaking year for West Dunbartonshire kids.

Thanks to school pupils taking part in 101,000 Active Schools sessions in the past 12 months - the first time the 100,000 mark has been breached - the figures show that more children than ever are given access to, and taking part, in healthy exercise.

It's welcome news at a time when it seems our dependence on smart phones, Netflix and processed foods is near impenetrable. Thanks to a high demand for the convenient, it's a worrying thought that we may soon abolish the need for any effort or exertion whatsoever.

Fast food is just a click away, endless movies and TV series' can be downloaded and watched from the comfort of the sofa, and you don't even need to leave the house to pick up the weekly groceries. Whilst this all undoubtedly brings benefits to the more vulnerable members of our society, the worry is that too many of us are relying on easy lifestyles instead of healthy ones.

I know I find it all too easy to spend weekdays going from bed to shower to desk to sofa to bed. When the weekend rolls around and I convince myself I've earned a 'lazy one', and I'm lucky if I venture outside. It's an exhausting cycle.

It's nothing that will receive medals, but when I manage to attend a twice-weekly zumba class, make an effort to leave my desk for a lunch break and slot in a few brisk walks after work, I feel the benefits tenfold.

So why don't we all stick to these healthier habits more strictly? When you can recognise you feel far more alert, sleep better and don't notice a tightening of the jeans, it's a sign these good habits need to stick.

According to the Scottish Government, in 2015, 65 per cent of adults aged 16 and over were overweight, including 29 per cent who were obese. With it being reported that an unhealthy relationship with food in childhood often translates into adulthood, it's imperative that kids are given the best start leading healthy lives to stand any chance of bucking these worrying trends.

It's arguably adults who need to be setting a strong example. It's like the advice given on airplanes in the event of a crash: ensure you're own breathing apparatus is applied before helping others. If the adult population were to shake up the weekly routine and make suitable time for exercise, the example is set for children.

The promising figures released by sportscotland show that the West Dunbartonshire Active Schools programme is performing better than ever: the 101,000 participant session in the 2016/17 school year marks an increase on the previous year’s 88,000.

This news is a great start, but it's just the beginning. In order to truly make long lasting differences, sports and exercise can't purely be set aside for what's mandatory.

We need to banish the smart phones and hide the Netflix log-in details for a few hours and encourage both kids, and the adults, to get active.