The Importance of Physical Activity for Children

physical activity importance outdoor gym

The Importance of Physical Activity for Children in School

Hop, skip, jump…it’s time to get the kids active!

How physically active is your child? In a digital world where children are spending more and more time looking at screens and less time playing outdoors, the problem of childhood obesity is becoming a growing concern in the UK. It is therefore extremely important to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle from a young age to try and reduce inactivity and sedentary in children.

Do your children do enough physical activity?

The chief medical officer guidelines recommend that children between 5-18 years old should be physically active for at least 60 minutes every day! This refers to moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity, from light cycling on a bike to swimming laps in a pool. Primary school is an ideal setting for engaging children in daily exercise and teaching them how to adopt and maintain a healthy active lifestyle.

How much physical activity should children do in school?

It is suggested that children achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity in school and at least 30 minutes outside of school. With children spending most of their week in school, it is crucial that schools and teachers play an active role in promoting a healthy lifestyle and give pupils plenty of opportunities to be physically active during school time.

In order to attract all children into being physically active in school, it is important to offer an array of different activities and sports in your setting to appeal to everyone. Children are generally full of energy and there is such an abundance of activities that you won’t be short of ideas on how to engage them in physical activity!

So why is physical activity so important for children?

Physical activity has countless health benefits for children! Not only does exercise improve a child’s overall health and fitness, but it can also help to improve their mental health and cognitive development as well.

Here are some of the key benefits of physical activity for children:

  • Builds confidence and improves social skills
  • Gives children the opportunity to learn new skills and teaches them important life skills
  • Strengthens muscles and bones
  • Helps to develop coordination
  • Enhances concentration and learning, which increases productivity and success
  • Makes children feel good and elevates their mood
  • Inspires positivity and encourages tolerance
  • Helps to relieve stress and maintain mental and emotional wellbeing
  • Improves sleep and energy levels
  • Reduces the risk of morbidity and mortality from chronic non-communicable diseases
  • Improves overall health and fitness and helps children maintain a healthy weight to prevent childhood obesity

To dig deeper into the benefits of physical activity for mental development in children, read more here: Benefits of Physical Activity for Mental Development.

Are you kitted-out with the essential equipment and resources for PE and sports?

Make sure your PE and sports area is well-equipped with beneficial resources to enhance physical development. If you need to improve the PE and sports supplies in your setting, explore our extensive range of children’s PE & Sports Equipment to enhance your primary school’s resources and encourage children to be more active today!

How much do you think primary schools should play a part in improving children’s physical activity? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!


References:
www.gov.uk – Government
www.sparkpe.org – Spark

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