Physical Activity: A Key to Pediatric Health Essay example

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Currently there is a focus in schools and society on the extent of physical activity and obesity in young people

Physical Activity is ranked second, behind tobacco, in being the most important factor in health promotion and disease prevention in Australia (Vic Health (n.d)). According to the 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, “17 per cent of boys and girls were classified as overweight, 6 per cent were obese”. This Essay is looking at the issue of obesity and the importance of Physical Activity in middle childhood, this being 6 to 10 year olds, and what a teacher can do to increase the amount of physical activity these children participate in. Also discussed are some of the
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(WHO, 2011)

There has been many studies conducted that have discovered that involvement in physical activity also increases concentration, mental cognition and academic performance. Children in classes that have regular physical activity breaks are often more attentive, better behaved and perform well scholastically. (Mahar, M. T., et al., 2006).

What do you consider to be the teacher’s role in addressing and preventing obesity?
A teacher spends an average of 30 hours a week in the classroom with their students. This high number of contact hours with their students necessitates that teachers are positive role models to their students (Victorian Institute of Teaching, 2008). If the teacher shows their students that they can eat a healthy lunch and will participate in physical activities with the students, then it is more likely that the less active students in the class will want to participate in the activity and also bring a healthy lunch to school all because the teacher does.

Incorporated into the teaching program for each year the teacher should be educating and discussing with the students about healthy eating and the healthy living pyramid. This would then encourage the students to think about what they are eating each day and also get them to discuss with each other during their lunch eating time what they are eating and is it a ‘Eat Most’, ‘Eat Moderately’ or a ‘Eat Sometimes’ Food Group. (Nutrition Australia

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