What barriers are there to children achieving their 60 minutes of physical activity a day?
The first barrier we are going to look at is Technology. Being physically active doesn’t mean directly playing a sport or going to the gym, it is any movement that…well gets a child moving! Think playing on the park, skipping, taking the dog for a walk, playing outside with friends…all the pastimes that were ‘habits’ in adults youths. Now we see young children playing on their xbox, playing on social media and text messaging friends instead of playing outsode with them. These are the modern-day habits of children; it is both adults and childrens’ responsibility to counteract these sedentary hobbies, if we can teach children the importance of splitting their evening into even half active and half inactive, we will see real improvements. That’s what we on camp, or going into schools will be teaching children, to take some accountability for their health; we want them to offer to take the dog for a walk, ask if they can play outside or even choose to play a sport after school. We will be showing them the benefits of these simple changes and what happens if they don’t apply these changes.
Our next barrier is cost. A lot of children miss out on sporting opportunities because it costs to play a sport, or transport is an issue. However, school sport should then be utilised, as this doesn’t cost to participate in. On the other hand, this does limit the choice children have, the school P.E. teacher or in some Primary cases a classroom teacher who doubles as P.E. teacher have a preferred sport they stick too, and they have a time limit of when they can deliver this. This is hopefully were we can help! We will come into schools and deliver different sports to ensure every child gets an equal opportunity, we deliver Karate, Football, Gymnastics, Badminton and many more. We also will provide further knowledge on local sporting opportunities, including costing and what funding is available.
Another barrier we often come across is time, or lack of. Parents or guardians struggling with time, not having enough hours in the day to drop children off at a sport club, and to make healthier teas. This is where we need to start working together to tackle the obesity crisis and make physical activity a priority. The best option here, if you really don’t believe you have time, is whilst you normally watch that 30 minute programme before or after work, is to put a you tube exercise video on! An exercise routine that you and your child/children can enjoy and get active to. Alongside this, add in a brisk ten minute walk, this can add towards the 60 minutes of recommended physical activity a day. We can easily achieve more walking by making simple changes, such as parking further away from the supermarket, walking to the shop instead of driving or getting off the bus a stop earlier.