Here at HPP we’ve had a week of delivering to lots of parents of children involved in a whole host of sports. But what if you are a parent who wishes your child was into sport, or you just know that in terms of their health they should be? (and maybe you should be too!)
Children in the British Isles have recently been measured as among the least active in the world. The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance, which grades countries on youth activity according to a whole host of variables, has graded England, Ireland and Wales as a D, meaning less than half of the child and youth population are achieving healthy levels of activity and Scotland is graded as F meaning very few are achieving healthy levels.
The effects of such a sedentary lifestyle for our young people will not only affect them during childhood, but have an impact on them throughout their lives unless habits are changed and levels of activity are addressed. The sorts of things we are talking about are increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, strokes, dementia and depression.
In fact, a recent government report on obesity shows that despite many initiatives there has been no change in the levels of obesity in 10 and 11 year olds, and in 4 and 5 year olds it is on the rise. Also, between the ages of 5 and 10, the levels of obesity more than double.
Disaster right? Our health service is already groaning under the weight of under-funding and coping with an ageing population, throw the ticking time-bomb of childhood inactivity and obesity into the mix, and we are all going to be affected by this.
So what’s to be done? Well it’s a big questions that will need some big answers. But here at HPP we want to do our bit, which is why we are broadening our repertoire to work with parents to encourage activity in more sedentary children. We have a new workshop available Helping your Child Develop a Love of Sport, and will also be adding that to our upcoming e-learning platform….watch this space.
One piece of advice we give to parents is to work hard to find something that your child enjoys and can engage with. Schools provide opportunity for sport, but what if your child doesn’t enjoy the traditional ball sports that are available for them at school? What if they are just too unfit to find running fun? Our advice is to think outside the box and look for anything that involves more movement – skateboarding, zumba, hopscotch, obstacle course in the garden, carrying the basket around the supermarket instead of sitting in the trolley…..anything is better than staying on the sofa.
This new arm of our work is why we are getting involved in The Great British Sports Show on 3rd and 4th February in Exeter. It’s a great event bringing together a whole host of different sports and activities for the whole family to get involved in and have a try. Think lots of different sports, lots of activities, lots of fun, and lots of amazing inflatable things – what’s not to like? If you are struggling with an inactive child why not give this a go, it might just ignite the spark to get them off the sofa and #getstuckin.
Sources: Government Response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee report on Childhood obesity: Follow-up, Seventh Report of Session 2016-17 – January 2018
The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance.