Importance Of Physical Activity For Kids At School
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The lack of physical activity in kids at school has been expressed as a matter of concern by pediatricians, educators, parents and experts. There is a surge in the lack of opportunities for movement of students in school.
It is no secret that kids are willingly preferring more screen time than outdoor games and other physical activities of interest. Schooling and homework is also exposing kids to longer screen time in addition to their already heightened interest in it. Consequently, this reduces the time they are engaged in physical activities. It has been found out that kids are more sedentary in school and at home which is directly contributing to increasing health concerns in children. Research shows that due to this, obesity rates in kids between the age-group of six to twelve has quadrupled since the year 1970.
Why Is Physical Activity So Important?
As per studies, kids used to spend at least six to seven hours in front of screens before the coronavirus pandemic. This used to cause poor health in one-third of the children.
Under the present circumstances, the screen time has significantly increased due to distance learning and online games. The restrictions on outdoor activities have majorly contributed to this surge in the stats.
Studies have shown from time to time that increased engagement with the screens is directly related to major health issues like depression, anxiety and obesity. These further make way for other serious diseases to crawl in. It has also been found out that kids with increased exposure to the screens have behavioural issues, crankiness and frustration.
However, despite the obvious need for kids to stay physically active, it has been found out that schools are continually reducing opportunities for them to be physically active.
The hectic academic schedules seldom leave the students with opportunities to even get up from their desks. Even though it is known that ample exercise is required for kids, less than 11% of schools operate with this knowledge in mind.
It is scientifically proven that physical activities, movement of the body helps greatly in academics. It improves the ability to concentrate, retain better and obviously, stay away from obesity and related problems.
Now that we are aware of the intensity of matters and why it is essential to incorporate adept physical activities in the lives of students, let us find out how we can do so.
What Can Be Done To Increase Physical Activity In Kids?
Being physically active not only helps children to stay fit and healthy but also helps them significantly in their educational life. Physical activities increase the flow of blood in the human body which further increases the energy levels. This helps in improving brain power thereby increasing the ability to focus, learn and retain. This is the reason why toddlers have such heightened energy levels that they put adults to shame.
Here are a few ways that if incorporated can help children stay physically active.
- Sufficient Recess Breaks
Recess breaks in schools are being cut down in order to accomodate enough time for all academic classes. This is not a healthy practice as this leaves children with no opportunity to play or atleast take a good stroll after long hours of sitting at their desks. Schools can design their curriculums accordingly so that there’s ample time for the students to eat and play a tad during recess breaks.
- Exercising In School
Schools may introduce gym classes or exercise periods if not already, where students can work out or practice physical fitness regularly. This is a great way to keep them active at school.
- Movement In Classroom
The long hours of sitting at one place during classes reduces the concentration power of students. A 2 minute stretch or walk inside the classroom in between two consecutive periods can help improve their ability to focus and retain the knowledge imparted by the educators.
- Physical Activity At Home
While it is extremely important for students to be physically active at school, it is equally important to be active at home. Staring for long hours at the TV screen or digital devices can cause serious harm overtime. Thus, parents may try to get kids involved in games or tasks that include physical activity.
At MS Dhoni Global School, we have incorporated strategically designed curriculums that encourage students to stay physically active at school.
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