Exercise is an essential way of keeping ourselves fit. But how much exercise should one do to stay healthy? Turns out a lot of parents are unaware.
In a new study from Youth Sport Trust (YST), two-thirds of the parents surveyed in the UK did not know that children aged 5-18 should do an hour of exercise every day.
YST chief executive Ali Oliver was quoted as saying, “We’ve seen a worrying trend in recent years of a decline in young people’s physical activity, and a squeeze on time allocated to good quality physical education.”
How much exercise does your child need?
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), children aged 5-17 should invest in at least 60 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity every day to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers.
The decline in physical activity can be traced back to how parents are focusing more on academics than anything else. In UK, students have reportedly been taken out of gym classes to give them more time for exam preparations.
As per National Health Portal of India (NHP), some of the other reasons resulting in reduced physical activity among children are “increasing sedentary ways of life, spending more time on watching television, playing computer games, using computers, and fewer children walk or cycle to school, and insufficient physical education and other school-based physical activities.” This is crucial since children in India too are currently facing a similar crisis. The country is predicted to have over 17 million obese children by 2025, as per a study published in Paediatric Obesity.
Besides keeping your child physically healthy and protecting him or her from serious diseases, regular physical activity also hones thinking, learning and judgment skills, as per NHP India. It reduces the risk of depression and helps in better sleep.