Leisure Opportunities have posted an article on their website highlighting that physical activity levels in schools are declining, with only 21 per cent of boys and 16 per cent of girls aged 5-15 years old meeting the recommended guidelines.
They are reporting on the publication by Public Health England (PHE)of new guidance for educators and exercise providers on how to boost physical activity in schools.
This latest guidance from PHE follows examination of the progress made since the launch, last year, of PHE’s framework to tackle inactivity, Everybody Active, Every Day.
The new guidance aims to help schools capitalise on the links between regular exercise and academic success, while at the same time helping to narrow the wide gap between recommended levels of activity and what is generally achieved.
The report highlights the physical, mental and social benefits of regular physical activity at school and evaluates various principles which can help to achieve this. The principles are ranked based on the amount of evidence to support their efficacy, with the principles of creating active environments and delivering multi-component interventions across the curriculum, school culture and wider home life, rated as being among the most effective.
According to PHE, the briefing is designed to provide an overview from the evidence about what works in schools and colleges to increase levels of physical activity among children and young people. It aims to inspire the reader through practice examples. It also highlights links to Ofsted inspection criteria and signposts to useful sources of support.
The briefing comes as wellbeing provider Nuffield Health has recently launched a pilot scheme to fund a ‘head of wellbeing’ in a UK school for children aged 11-18. The scheme sees the two-year secondment of a head of wellbeing to help develop and implement a health and wellbeing strategy at the school, with a strong focus on physical activity.
As well as being shown to help children be more confident and achieve better results at school, recent research has highlighted that forming an exercise habit in early teens can also reduce the risk of cancer in later life and help ward off diabetes.