Do we have a crisis of inactivity in our children??Dom Taylor
The former Head of UK Sport, Baroness Sue Campbell, recently suggested that we have a ‘crisis of inactivity’ among school children in the UK. She also cautioned that this is linked to increasing obesity levels and negatively affects children’s performance at school.
We have all heard the old sayings like ‘a healthy body leads to a healthy mind’ and ‘you are what you eat’ so why are we facing such problems in the UK?
Another survey suggests that a third of school aged children in the UK are overweight, and between 14% and 20% of these children are obese. These are clearly worrying statistics and need action from both administrators and teaching staff to rectify. If we sit back and ignore the problems identified then the issues raised will just grow and grow.
At Activate Sport we believe that there is a strong link between activity and health and how sport can teach our children lessons about life and help them with what goes on in the classroom. So why do children only have sport once or twice a week in school? The content of that sport session may not even be great activity either but it still counts as activity.
Whilst we do not believe that all children should be subjected to having to run on a treadmill for half an hour every morning, and again at lunchtime, we do believe that they should be allowed the chance to run and play, through unstructured practice as well as the more formal PE lessons and Games afternoons.
What do children do in their break times? A previous study showed that very little aerobic or anaerobic activity took place during school break times, if at all. So what are they doing? What should we be encouraging them to take part in during and outside of school. One thing that springs to mind is that just because a session is dressed up as sport, it does not necessarily mean it is an activity filled sweat generating burst of energy.
The question remains though, why has there been this drop in activity? Is it because it is not safe anymore for our children to play in the street, or be allowed to play in the park unsupervised? Are coaches monopolising children’s time to deliver technique instead of encouraging activity? It is too easy to blame the rise of technology with iPods, X-boxes and TV, or should we as parents take more responsibility for what our children do?
Activate Sport are giving parents and children the right options with activity camps during school holidays. Through the multitude of different sporting and activity projects on offer there are opportunities to try new things as well as build on existing skills children may have. The focus is on fun and challenges to improve. We encourage activity and believe strongly that this assists with more diligent classroom work too. We have now brought in a sport enrichment programme to enhance the non sporting skills to assist with this all round experience we offer our children on our camps.
ZingUp have partnered Activate Sport and are a company who believe in exercising the body to achieve improved performances in school and life with concentration, self-esteem, organisation and social skills. They have specifically designed programmes which children can do at home on the iPad or computer which can boost and improve these skills by simple daily exercises. Please visit our partner pages and contact ZingUp for more information.