TOO many children do too little physical exercise and that means that 21% of youngsters are overweight – and 4% are obese.
More worryingly, nine out of 10 children are not doing even the recommended minimum of 60 minutes of exercise a day needed to build up bone and muscle mass for their future well-being. The figures, from a study by the Institut de Veille Sanitaire, come after more than 10 years of research in the north of France.
The couch potato lifestyle could be building up problems in years ahead for the youngsters, who will be more liable to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, osteo-arthritis and other ailments brought on by sustained inactivity.
Walking, in itself, is not enough to count as exercise and children need to be doing vigorous exercise which will tire them physically – and burn off calories.
One part of the study saw 250 pupils in CE2, CM1 and CM2 fitted with accelerometers to check their movements and it found some children doing as little as seven minutes of exercise a week.