Shock, horror: nearly half of parents in the UK claim their children do less than 40minutes activities per day. Teachers on the other hand would just love children to sit still.
Tablets, mobile phones, computers and videogames have taken over from the television as the culprits. They are blamed from all manner of ills from sleeplessness (children texting after lights out) poor literacy, lack of concentration and, of course, obesity.
According to Sustrans, a charity whose mission it is to encourage people to travel by foot, bike or public transport, teenage girls were the least active, with 66% of parents of 16 year old girls saying they are getting 40 minutes of exercise or less in a typical weekday. Of course parents don’t always know what their children are doing and it may well be that young people are closet fitness fanatics.
• 38 per cent of parents surveyed said that they were chiefly concerned about their child putting on excess weight, as a result of being physically inactive.
• A further 30 per cent said their main concern would be their child developing health problems such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
• 12 per cent of parents were most concerned about childhood health problems,
• 18 per cent were most concerned about health problems in later life.
There are so many potential solutions to their fears such as healthier diet, fewer takeaways, less alcohol, encouraging children to cook for themselves, introducing children to a wide range of different sporting activities, more active holidays or even spending a bit of time on the Wii.
Yet apparently, when asked how they could increase the amount of exercise that their child took, just under half of parents (44 per cent) thought that walking, cycling, scooting and skating could be incorporated into their routines as part of the journey to school.
Rush hour, pollution, the danger to cyclists and the frantic early morning rush to get everyone out of the house on time make this the least likely option for many families. but if you fancy finding out more have a look at The Big Pedal 2015 go to: www.bigpedal.org.uk