There can be no challenge to the idea that exercise is a major element in any strategy to combat obesity and important for many other aspects of physical health as well as mental health.
While important across the lifespan childhood is when habits of regular exercise need to be established. We can expect schools to recognise the importance of exercise and ensure that its provision.
A report from UKactive in England states that the Chief Medical Officer’s guidance in England is not being followed and half of seven-year-olds are not getting the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
Response to the UKactive report
Professor Russell Viner, officer for health promotion of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: ‘At a time when children should be at their most active it is concerning that half of seven year olds are not doing the recommended one hour a day of physical activity. We know that a healthy child is much more likely to go on to be a healthy adult so it is important that we set children on the right trajectory from an early age and continue to encourage healthy lifestyles as they move through life’.
The charity UKactive believes that a whole day approach is necessary and integrating physical activity throughout the school day, including looking at how they get to school would help to ensure children achieve the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise.