During a school day it is estimated kids are sedentary and spend 60-70% of the day in chairs. This is compounded by the rise of sedentary activities outside school, with more and more free-time spent in front of screens rather than playing outside or engaged in sport.
Why does this matter?
- Recent studies on children have found links between sedentary behaviour and cardio-metabolic risk factors (including obesity, blood pressure, reduced vascular function, cholesterol and insulin sensitivity).
- Whole body movement shapes human development and currently children are not experiencing the types and amounts of movement required for ideal development . This point is highlighted by osteoporosis (bone thinning) which is now largely recognized as a paediatric (childhood) disease that manifests in our later years. The failure of our bones to reach ideal peak bone mass as teenagers sets us up for bone failures as we age. To develop strong robust bones they must be used and loaded adequately as we grow.
- Cognitive Development: there is a copious body of literature linking physical activity to cognition in both adults and children. Simply put children that move more learn better.
We have visited some of our local schools and have been really encouraged by the reception we have received. Teachers more than anyone understand the need for children to move their bodies to help them learn and perform well and are of course very interested in their health and development. The challenge teachers face is how to create more movement opportunities for their pupils within the constraints of their classrooms and buildings while still fulfilling all elements required by the curriculum.
So what can be done?
- Education! This might seem obvious in a school but simply educating teachers & children on why movement truly matters is a brilliant way to ignite intrinsic motivation, and once motivated I think we’ll all agree teachers & children alike find a way of getting what they want!
- Share the load. Connect with other schools, children and families to see what they are doing to embrace (physically) active learning.
- Resource up. Join the Youth Sports Trust Active 30:30 programme, read our blog, embrace the Daily Mile (www.thedailymile.co.uk.
Move More UK offers educational presentations and consultancy workshops to teachers and school leaders to help them shape their environment and shift their culture to one that embraces truly active learning.