Why Regular Exercise for Kids Is the Only Way to Fix Childhood Obesity
It’s National Obesity Awareness Week and, appropriately, physical literacy is back in the headlines. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is head of a group calling for standing desks to become customary in schools. It’s part of a campaign to promote exercise for kids and alleviate the impact of sedentary routines.
Oliver has long been a champion for healthy routines in schools. After fighting for a sugar tax on fizzy drinks, he is now campaigning for less sitting time during lessons. He is supported by a team of educators, MPs, and GPs, who believe standing and squatting are healthy alternatives to spending long hours on a chair.
We are increasingly aware of the dangers of inactivity. We now know lack of exercise isn’t the end of the story. Lack of movement – particularly in the legs – is also a major risk. So, Oliver is definitely on to something. There’s no doubt standing to work is better for the legs, spine, neck, and weight.
The Problem with Standing in School
However, Jamie ‘School Warrior’ Oliver should know that sitting still is a vital part of getting kids to knuckle down and focus. The prospect of entire lessons with NO bums on seats is enough to get teachers sweating.
The switch to standing desks is expensive. Safety concerns are inevitable. While standing has been linked to increased concentration during collaborative tasks, it may impair writing intensive work.
So, is there an alternative, a way to get kids moving without tempting them to step out of schoolwork?
We believe we have the answer.
With our Movement of the Day, Amaven is bringing physicality back to lessons. We’re trying to prove to teachers that exercise for kids is easy.
Taking the Strain Out of Daily Exercise
The secret to beating sedentary routines is simple. Start early and make it normal. It’s why we’re helping primary schools introduce fast, funky exercises to their classes.
The unique thing about Movement of the Day is that it’s designed to be performed anywhere, at any time. That means before science, after maths, on the playground, in the dinner queue or anywhere else you can sneak it in.
On its own, it won’t provide all the physical activity that a child needs, but it does get schools one step closer. In fact, if students perform the same movement three times per day, they’re halfway to the national target of 30 minutes of exercise at school.
More so than costly equipment changes, we think this is the way forward. Quick daily tasks that get the heart pumping and define exercise as something that is easy and natural.
Check out the clip below to see Movement of the Day in action:
Tackling Childhood Obesity One Step at a Time
Sorry, Jamie. Standing desks in schools won’t work. But morning stretches, star jumps, bunny hops, squats, and toe touches just might. When it comes to exercise for kids, the simplest solutions are the strongest.
As teachers will confirm, young people are fit to burst with unspent energy. They don’t need special tools to be convinced that movement trumps inertia.
The momentum is already there. It just needs channelling into something positive and productive.
Members of our Healthy Schools Programme get exclusive access to Movement of the Day and a host of other goodies, including CPD schemes, PE lesson plans, and visits from qualified coaches. To find out more, give us a call on 0161 300 9712.
You can also sign up to the mailing list for advice on physical literacy, nutrition, child development, and increasing engagement in sports.