August 30, 2012
8 in 10 children ignorant about exercise
In the wake of Team GB’s Olympic success story we can
reveal the vast majority of children are clueless about the amount
of exercise they should be doing and are jeopardising their future
England cricketer Ravi Bopara has stepped up to
help get children active in this ‘summer of sport’.
Figures from our newly published
Physical activity statistics 2012 show eight in
10 children in England underestimate how much physical activity they need to stay healthy.
Just one in 10 children realise they need to do
60 minutes of physical activity each day to stay
fit and help ward off serious diseases such as heart disease and type 2
diabetes in later life.
It's not just cricket
Ravi, 27, who’s a regular for our
nation’s the one-day side, knows just how important it is to stay
fit, and is urging children to follow his lead by
reaching for a cricket bat, football, bicycle, skipping rope or
just heading out to the local park.
Ravi said: “It’s shocking that
childhood obesity is still such a big issue for
the UK and that so few children realise how active they need to be
to stay fit. The simple truth is that I love playing cricket, and I
wouldn’t be able to do the thing I love most if I didn’t eat well
and make sure I get lots of exercise.
I want children to join in and get active too
“This summer we’re
surrounded by fantastic British sporting events and successes from
Andy Murray’s Wimbledon final and Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour
de France through to the likes of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah’s
efforts in the London Olympics. I want children to join in and
too. Obviously, I’d love them all to
play cricket but I don’t mind too much if they choose something
else, just so long as they’re active and enjoying themselves.”
Our Physical Activity Project Manager, Lisa
Purcell, said: “A nation of couch kids have
been watching the Olympics from the comfort of the sofa instead of
getting active themselves. But with the Olympics and Paralympics on
our doorstep, this summer holiday really is the perfect time for
kids to try out a variety of activities and find the ones they
enjoy the most.
“Ravi’s support is brilliant for helping
children to understand why they need to look after themselves. He’s
a great example of the success you can achieve – and more
importantly – the fun you can have by staying
Lisa has put together a handy weekly activity list that parents
can use to help keep their kids active – without paying for
expensive kit or classes - in the summer holidays.
- Monday: Set the kids a challenge – who can run
faster, skip more times, or catch a ball?
Invite their friends round and set up an obstacle course in your
house or garden
Take a family walk around the neighbourhood after dinner. If it’s
raining, you could set up an exercise DVD on the TV and have the
whole family join in.
Put the radio or a music channel on and dance around the house – or
even get them doing some vigorous tidying! And try our ‘Let’s get
active pocket planner’ where children can record all their
activities. If they manage 60 minutes a day for 4 weeks, they’ll
receive a free certificate recognising their efforts.
- Friday: Is
your child not the sporty type? Help them find something they like
- investigate local youth groups and classes with your child. You
never know, they could be a natural table-tennis player or salsa
- The weekend:
Take the kids on an outing to your local park and use the
playground equipment provided, or bring a Frisbee or a football. If
you’ve got some spare cash, why not take them ice-skating - or