Physical Activity in Primary School Children Essay

1488 Words 6 Pages
Physical activity is crucial for a child’s development and lays the foundation for a healthy and active life. Children are becoming overweight and obese due to poor food choices and an increasing sedentary lifestyle, leading to physical, social and behavioural health issues. High calorie food and increased indoor activity, such as watching television or computer games, are fuelling this unhealthy lifestyle epidemic. Increasing physical activity in middle childhood (8-12yrs) is a crucial component in addressing and preventing this crisis, and it is believed that schools in conjunction with teachers have a large role to play in its promotion.
Research has shown that obesity has increased over the last 20 years in Australian children aged
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Physically active young people are more likely to adopt other healthy behaviours (e.g. avoidance of tobacco, alcohol and drug use) and demonstrate higher academic performance at school, (WHO, 2011).
While the community generally perceives childhood obesity as an issue to be addressed at the family level, (Covic et al, 2007), it is a whole-of-community concern and therefore prevention and education should be a combined effort across all sectors of the community including teachers, schools, GP’s, education and local government authorities, non- government agencies and the wider public, voluntary and community sectors, parents and carers, (Bauman et al, 2002).
A national approach of mixed strategies is thought to yield optimal results in reducing the incidence of obesity at the population level. Policies, resources, projects and campaigns designed to promote three key issues; 1) physical activity, 2) nutrition and healthy eating and 3) mental health and well-being, are thought to produce the greatest health benefit.
School curriculum programs and policies should be in keeping with the above three concepts, while also considering the school environment, interaction with parents and the local community, (Shilton, 2001). It is the teachers’ role to adapt these policies and curricula into their classrooms. The WA Health and Physical Education learning area promotes curriculum designed with a holistic approach to good health. Health education is not only physical

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