Physical inactivity proved risky for children and pre-teens

Originally published June 4, 2019 in Science Daily.

Cardio-respiratory capacity in children has dropped by 25% in 20 years, according to a study by the University of Adelaide in Australia.

There are multiple reasons for this, from the social environment and the decreasing number of play areas to a more academic approach towards teaching physical education and the spread of new technologies. But at what age do children lose the desire to exercise?

Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, followed 1,200 Geneva pupils, aged 8 to 12, for two years. The team found out that from the age of 9, the positive reasons for exercising — it’s fun and good for your health — begin to be replaced by more displaced incentives: to get a good mark or improve your image with others. These results, which are published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, call for a more detailed analysis of how PE is taught in schools to counter physical inactivity leading to a sedentary lifestyle from an early age. Read More

Physical education to get a boost from modernised school curriculum

Originally published May 14, 2019 in The Telegraph.

By Jeremy Wilson

Physical education and activity is expected to get an enhanced focus in schools from September following the publication today of a new framework by school inspectors Ofsted.

A greater emphasis on a broad and balanced curriculum, as well as the quality of personal development rather than just exam outcomes, has been interpreted as an acknowledgment of the importance and benefits of sport and activity. Read More

PE Today Preparing Students for Lifetime of Benefits

Originally published March 14, 2019 in the Imperial Republican.

By Becky Kuntzelman

Physical education (P.E.) classes from the past have evolved from the stereotype of a glorified recess or a set of drills to determine who can run the fastest and jump the highest, according to a spokesman for the health and physical education program at the University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK).

“Today’s physical education classes focus on overall wellness, fitness concepts and healthy habits that can lead to a lifetime of benefits,” said Megan Adkins-Bollwitt, an associate professor at UNK’s Kinesiology and Sport Sciences Department. Read More

Daily Mile gets £1.5m to boost fitness in English primary schools

Sport England funding to pay for major expansion of back-to-basics child exercise scheme

Originally published Dec.17, 2018 in The Guardian.

By Sally Weale

The Daily Mile, the back-to-basics fitness initiative for schoolchildren, has received a £1.5m cash injection from Sport England, which hopes to spread the word about it to every primary school in England.

The national lottery money represents the biggest expansion of the scheme which began six years ago with children at a primary school in Stirling running five laps round the playing field. It is now a regular fixture at 3,500 schools in England and for 1.25 million children worldwide. Read More