Despite a widely-held view that physical activity does not begin to decline until adolescence, new research from the Gateshead Millennium Cohort suggests that activity levels sharply decline when children enter full-time education.
It's a common misconception that all children are activity-filled bundles of energy. New research from the University of Strathclyde shows that children’s activity levels drop off sharply once they enter full-time education at the age of 7 or 8.
Professor John Reilly says “schools should be more active environments. There should be more activity breaks to break up long periods of sitting”
It is well known that habits formed young can last a lifetime and that physical inactivity can have serious health consequences later on in life.
Jack Shakespeare, head of ukactive Kids, said: "we have to embrace creative solutions and look at how we harness our digital dependence to build movement back into children’s lives, instead of taking it away.”
Research also suggests that inactive children are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The key to retaining an active lifestyle when children start school is to ensure PE is regular and 'fun', providing access to physical activity that children enjoy and in-turn promoting a lifelong love of exercise.
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