We are told over and over that a good diet and 60 minutes of exercise a day are vital for a healthy lifestyle. Yet, a recent survey done by Sport England has found that a whopping 32.9% of children and young people are doing less than an average 30 minutes of exercise/activity a day. In fact only 17.5% of children and young people do the recommended 60+ minutes of exercise a day. So, why is this? The report looks at many factors that affect the amount of exercise a young person does which include school year group, gender, family affluence, disability, and ethnicity. It could also easily be said that the accessibility of technology is playing a huge part in reducing the amount of activity that children are partaking in. With children having access to the internet in the playground (through their phones) the interest is moving away from playing games outside to playing games online.
We shouldn't assume that schools will push children exercise outside of P.E classes or sports days, and realistically P.E classes are not enough exercise for your child throughout the whole week. Instead you should encourage your child to exercise outside of P.E class; get them to try clubs at lunch time, playing football, dancing, or whatever physical activity takes their fancy. Continue this out of school too by going on bike rides, taking family walks, or even playing physical games on games consoles if the weather isn't great outside. Exercise is vital for a healthy lifestyle, the NHS says that regular exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, and type 2 diabetes. For children the importance of exercise increases tenfold as they are still developing; exercise will help to strengthen their bones and muscles as they grow, while also increasing levels of self esteem and decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression. To read more about what the NHS recommends, and tips on types of exercise your child could do, click HERE.