Number of children getting enough physical activity drops by 40%

Change4Life together with Disney and Sport England launches ’10 minute shake up’ campaign to help get children more active.

The number of children meeting the recommended amount of physical activity for healthy development and to maintain a healthy weight, 60 minutes a day, drops by 40% as they move through primary school.

A new survey from Public Health England (PHE) and Disney looked at the effects of physical activity on children’s emotional wellbeing, and found:

  • being active made the majority of 5 to 11 year olds feel happier (79%), more confident (72%), and more sociable (74%), according to their parents
  • nearly all children said they liked being active (93%)
  • the main motivations for kids to be more active was having friends to join in (53%) and having more activities they liked to choose from (48%)
  • children’s overall happiness declines with age; 64% of 5 and 6 year olds said they always feel happy, compared to just 48% of 11 year olds
  • 19% of children said they were less active due to a lack of sports or activities they enjoyed

More information:

Start active, stay active

The Department of Health has produced a series of infographics as part of it’s ‘Start active, stay active’ series explaining the physical activity required to achieve general health benefits for different age ranges.

forest-662427_1920The following infographics relate to the report by the UK’s 4 Chief Medical Officers for the NHS, local authorities and a range of other organisations designing services to promote physical activity.

Physical activity for pregnant women

Physical activity benefits for babies and children (birth-5 years old)

Physical activity for children and young people (5-18 years old)

Physical activity benefits infographic for adults and older people

Cochrane reviews show impact of lifestyle changes on obesity

Two Cochrane reviews, published today, show that a combination of diet, physical activity and behavioural change interventions may reduce weight in children and adolescents | OnMedica

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The two reviews look at the effects of diet, physical activity and behavioural interventions in treating children with overweight or obesity from six years old to early adulthood. They summarise the results of 114 studies which involved over 13,000 children and young people.

The social barriers to an active society are being ignored

The simplicity of exhorting people to “be more active” belies how complicated it can be to put this into practice. Increasing physical activity requires individuals to do things differently | The Conversation

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Can individuals alone make the changes that are required? Public health campaigns imply that they can, focusing on how to live a healthier, more active life. But do the roots of inactivity really lie only in the behaviour, decisions and motivations of individuals? Or are there wider factors which need to be recognised and addressed?

Plenty of evidence suggests that external influences are also important, and there is mileage in ensuring that these elements are integrated into addressing individual behaviour.

Consider, for example, the challenge of raising physical activity levels among older people. This is a priority for public health given the predicted 89.3% increase in the numbers of older adults to 9.9m in the UK by 2039. According to Sport England, 54% of those aged 75 and above are doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Full blog post here

Adolescent obesity

The World Health Organisation European Office has published Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014.

The report presents the latest trends in obesity, eating behaviours, physical activity and sedentary behaviour from the health behaviour in school-aged children (HBSC) study, and highlights gender and socioeconomic inequalities across the WHO European Region.

Childhood obesity is considered one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Obese children are at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep difficulties, musculoskeletal problems and future cardiovascular disease, as well as school absence, psychological problems and social isolation.

The report argues that policy initiatives and interventions need to target high-risk adolescents within the context of families, schools and wider communities, and suggests policies that improve young people’s access to healthy diets should be a priority. It also recommends built environments be improved so that physical activity is re-established as an integral part of daily living.

Additional link: WHO press release

Physical Inactivity

Report from The British Heart Foundation (BHF) suggests that large numbers of people in the UK are still failing to meet recommendations for physical activity, putting them at greater risk of heart and circulatory disease.

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The British Heart Foundation has published Physical Inactivity Report 2017. This report provides an overview of the levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in adults across the UK.

The Government recommends that adults undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week and strength activities on at least two days a week . It is also recommended that adults minimise their levels of sedentary behaviour.
The data in this report suggests that large numbers of people in the UK are failing to meet these recommendations for physical activity.

The statistics also show that levels of sedentary behaviour in the UK remain high. This is of particular concern as evidence is growing which shows that sedentary behaviour  – time in which energy expenditure is very low – is an independent risk factor to physical inactivity.

The impact of physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles also weighs heavily on UK healthcare, estimated to cost as much as £1.2 billion a year.

The report suggests that making physical activity easier and more accessible for all is of paramount importance if we are to reduce the burden of inactivity-related ill health and improve the future cardiovascular health of our population.

Read the full report: Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour Report 2017

Getting active for better musculoskeletal health

Musculoskeletal conditions affect over 10 million people and are the leading cause of disability in England | Public Health England

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For many years there has been a perception that arthritis and back pain are unavoidable and part of the ageing process and the focus has been on conventional treatments to alleviate pain and discomfort.

However, increasingly we are seeing that unhealthy lifestyles contribute to the cause of musculoskeletal conditions, and an ageing population, rising obesity rates and reduced level of physical activity will only increase the prevalence of these conditions, and result in rising costs to the health and social care system.

We need to change how we view musculoskeletal conditions with a focus on prevention, early detection and treatment using the life course whole systems approach.

A new report from the Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS England and Arthritis Research UK highlights the outcomes of programmes that offer physical activity interventions for musculoskeletal conditions that are effective across care pathways, cost effective and provide long term health benefits for individuals across the life course.

Read the full over view here

Read the full report here