By Oliver Thompson
Research conducted by Loughborough University stated that a mere 9% of children in England meet the physical activity recommendations
According to the National Centre for Sport & Medicine, children under five who are able to walk should be physically active for 3 hours a day, which varies between light through to vigorous activity.
Shockingly, a staggering 84% of children participate in less than 1 hour per day and the benefits can limit cardiovascular disease and improve cognitive development. The report also summarises that children are most active if their parents/carers are active, and recommends that providing portable play equipment and providing additional play space can result in higher levels of physical activity in the early years.
How does this relate to Kirklees?
In a separate report published in 2007 had found that in Kirklees, physical activity rates are below average for England, with 25% not doing any physical activity at all.
Recently, Kirklees Council has announced that it will trial the new Active Imaginations online resource.
The new initiative aims to help parents and carers come up with ways for 2-4 years olds to get a healthy amount of physical activity, which is scheduled to be officially launched on Monday 23 September.
Parents and children at St John’s Under 5 Preschool, Dewsbury will be amongst the first in Yorkshire and the Humber to try out Active Imaginations; an online resource of simple and fun activities that can be done indoors or outdoors.
It has been confirmed that the Active Imaginations team will be filming with families in locations throughout Yorkshire this week to create new ideas that can be shared on their social media channels and website at www.activeimaginations.co.uk
What was said?
Cllr Carole Pattison, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:
“We are very pleased to be a part of this new online provision to help support parents and carers in providing our children with the best possible start in life.”
Gemma Mann, children’s health and wellbeing lead at Public Health England, said:
“It’s really important that all children get the necessary daily physical activity they need to stay healthy, the benefits for children are well evidenced.
“Moving more helps young children to develop motor skills, improves cognitive development, helps them maintain a healthy weight, enhances bone and muscular development and supports the learning of social skills.”
Active Imaginations videos and further information for parents and carers from Start4Life can be found at www.activeimaginations.co.uk