Exercise is being ‘stripped out’ of modern lifestyles, with British children among the least active in the world, experts have warned.
An international study of 38 countries found that England, Scotland and Wales have the worst rates of physical activity.
Chief Executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens, has made a stand for huge actions to be taken on modern-day upbringings, as children have now replaced playing outdoors with screen-time at home.
Simon said that exercise is the ‘magic pill’ that would prove to be a ‘pharmaceutical blockbuster’ if it came in the form of medicine.
A list of children’s fitness rankings compiled by a global alliance of health experts reported that England and Wales were both graded D minus, with Scotland receiving an appalling F grade.
Only 15% of girls aged 11 to 15 in England get the recommended full hour of moderate-intensity physical activity that’s advised by the World Health Organisation. For boys, the figure has dropped from 28% to 22% in the past two years.
The study also showed that just one in three children between 11 and 15 take part in any organised extracurricular sports outside of school. Despite the Government’s frequent attempts to tackle the issue of childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles, this number continues to drop.
When parents were asked about the lack of physical activity, many said they were often reluctant to let their children play outside.
However, if exercise isn’t considered a priority for parents, it certainly won’t instil any passion in children.
Something our Kids Fitness Instructors will know all about. Encouraging young people to be excited about fitness is not a straight forward task. With the increase in popularity of video games and mobile technology, exercise can quickly become the second choice to a spot of virtual reality on the sofa.
Mark Tremblay, chair of Active Health Alliance, told the congress: ‘Kids need to get away from the computer and video games, go outside and play more.’
However, as childhood obesity continues to grow, many parents don’t have the knowledge to guide their children towards a healthier and more active lifestyle, which is where those qualified to do so can step in. We need to be educating parents on the importance of exercise outside of the school gates. And teaching children creative, fun new ways to get their hearts pumping, in order to create a regime they’ll enjoy enough to stick at.
As with anything we teach our children to do, the more fun and engaging we make it, the more likely they’ll be to continue as they grow older. The longer we leave it, the greater impact this could have on their health in adult life.
Simon Stevens says it’s up to schools, the NHS, parents and the food and drink industry to make this right.
‘Get this right and we’ll be sparing the next generation hundreds of thousands of cases of cancers, strokes and dementia, as well as type 2 diabetes.’
If you have what it takes to get the next generation excited about fitness, speak to the team about becoming a Kids Fitness Instructor with Focus Training! Or take a look for a course coming to a venue near you.
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