“Schools can help students enhance their academic achievements and improve their behaviour through physical activity,” states a new whitepaper, commissioned by fitness equipment manufacturer and supplier Precor.
The report, written by ukactive, highlights the importance of physical activity and its numerous benefits on children and young people’s health, development and wellbeing, as well as providing guidance for anyone aiming to get children more active, more often.
Using recommendations from children’s activity specialists and case studies, the report gives an overall picture of the current state of affairs and aims to embody collaboration between all sectors, including schools, local communities and activity providers, in order to make physical activity a priority for every child, in the hope of generating behavioural change in early years.
Fact: Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Fact: By age 15 children are half as physically active (moderate to vigorous physical activity) than at the age of 9.
The report covers challenges and recommendations for different key groups such as girls, boys, children suffering from obesity and disabled children. These key groups are crucial in recognising the importance of delivering activity programmes that are not only inclusive but that meet the needs of each group. The paper clearly states the main challenges for each group and provides suggestions on how to tackle the issues present.
For example, the common emphasis of PE classes on traditional competitive sport focuses on winning rather than on enjoyment. The report recommends that for girls, schools create positive competition by setting up personal goals and encouraging students to break their own records, rather than establishing overall competition between peer groups.
CEO of ukactive, Dave Stalker, comments: “ukactive’s focus is a long-standing and uncompromising vision to make more people, more active, more often. In line with this, the report recommends that ‘activities should be enjoyable and if possible should include family and friends to make it more desirable’. It’s much more fun to be active collectively and in order to improve the health of the nation we must look to change behaviour from a young age and encourage friends and families to become more energetic together.”
The report looks at how traditional outdoor games can disengage less active children and how vigorous physical activity and notably cardiovascular and fitness activities are the most likely to produce health and cognitive benefits. It recommends that schools should take into consideration children’s different fitness levels to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate in a physical activity during the school day.
Jonathan Griffiths, UK marketing manager for Precor comments: “With obesity and physical inactivity levels in children rising, schools and colleges are finding ways to incorporate physical activity ever more challenging. We recognise the importance of involving students and young people in health and fitness, so are excited to launch the report we commissioned in partnership with ukactive. Schools, colleges and leisure establishments have a key role in ensuring that our children grow up healthily and aware of the importance of being physically active. Precor believe that this should be at the core of every child’s development.”
To obtain a copy of the whitepaper visit:https://www.precor.com/en-gb/gym-equipment-suppliers/schools