The Government's targets on obesity and physical activity create a massive opportunity for the health, fitness and educational sectors.
From birth onwards, movement is essential to developing and maintaining health and emotional well being. But baby seats now move from car to pram, to highchair, limiting neurological and muscle development and flexability. And computer games and television provide a 'safe' and easy entertainment option for older children affecting natural physical movement, which is required to fully develop both the body and the brain. This compounded by parental fear of allowing children to 'play out' unsupervised.
Low levels of physical activity have become a major public health problem in most western societies, creating what has been described as a 'ticking time bomb' in terms of future health issues. We are now seeing a growing number of children suffering from conditions borne out of inactivity, such as: type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, cancer, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, depression and high cholesterol.
Current statistics in the US show that:
- 1 in 5 school children will become obese adults, 1 in 10 are obese
- 70% of obese children will become obese adults
- An obese child has a 100% higher risk of developing diabetes
- Less than 25% of school aged children get even 20 minutes of vigerous daily physical activity
Analysis shows that concentrating initiatives on children that have a high BMI will not stem the escalating numbers of obese people. It is essential to develop new preventative public health strategies that affect the entire society. (World Health Report, Geneva)
Activity in childhood has a range of benefits which in themselves justify the promotion of physical activity to children and young people. Organised activity provides:
- An important vehicle for play and recreation, learning physical and social
- skills, developing creative intelligence and stimulating growth and fitness
- Healthy growth and development of the musculoskeletal and cardio respiratory systems
- Maintenance of energy balance (in order to maintain a healthy weight)
- Psychological well-bring
- Social interaction
- Avoidance of risk factors wuch as hypertension and high cholesterol
- Increases bone mineral density and protects against osteoporosis in later life
- Better cognitive functioning
But as an operator or educational provider, just how do you react to these challenges and seize upon the opportunities?
Exergame Fitness has created fun and innovative ways to help children enjoy physical activity offering a simple but highly effective solution.
Please visit the Exergame Fitness website to see products that help to fight this spreading epidemic.