The International Children’s Day is a celebration aimed at drawing attention to the rights and problems of children. Experts are alarming that more and more children are overweight, which results, among others, from lack of exercise and improper nutrition. Unfortunately, the pandemic, including remote learning and social isolation, aggravate the health problems of the youngest. Children’s Day is a good opportunity to replace sweets with family physical activity that will support their health.
In Poland the situation is also not optimistic and the results of the “Children in the pandemic” report carried out for Radio ZET clearly show that this is the last call to start spending time with children actively. Only 23% of parents undertook the same amount of activity with their children as before the pandemic. As many as 67% of children were less active and one in sixteen of them has completely ceased to engage in any activity. This influenced, among others, extra, unnecessary kilograms. Approximately 22% of parents admitted that their child was overweight or obese, half of whom linked the problems to the pandemic. In terms of wellbeing, as many as 75% of children showed negative emotions, including anger, being offended, not following orders or withdrawing more often. More than half of the parents indicated that their child’s wellbeing had deteriorated during the pandemic. – The research results are shocking, especially since physical activity in childhood is one of the factors of proper development – both motor and emotional one. In addition, in the case of children, as in adults, physical exercise helps to reduce stress, which during the pandemic has become an exceptionally serious problem among various age groups, including the youngest. Children studied remotely and had limited contact with their peers as well as fewer opportunities to spend their free time actively – says Nicole Kiersnowska, Yes2Move and Zdrofit trainer, privately a mother of three children.
What should be done to improve the situation of children struggling with poor mental and physical condition? The World Health Organisation recommends children from 1 to 4 years of age at least three hours of physical activity a day. Children between the ages of 5 and 17 should be active for at least one hour during the day. Although the school curriculum includes physical education lessons, most of them are not held every day. Therefore, in order to fulfil the recommendations regarding the physical activity of children, it is necessary to involve parents who will provide children with an appropriate dose of exercise, also outside the classes. The offer of sports activities for children is wide – from dance schools, through football and tennis clubs, to swimming pools and climbing. An interesting project is Atmosfera MultiSport – a club with general development activities exclusively for children aged 4 to 12.
– Atmosfera MultiSport is a place where, together with experts, we have prepared an original physical activity programme that supports the development of children. All classes are planned taking into account the basic motor skills and the use of elements of selected sports that are adapted to the age of the participants. Thanks to this, children can test various forms of exercise in a safe environment, which they will not get bored of. The curriculum is structured in such a way as to develop various physical and social skills. Everything takes place as part of a dramatised, cosmic adventure, which makes children willingly join the proposed activities. During the summer holidays, children can take part in specially prepared day camps – says Agnieszka Buras, Atmosfera MultiSport Manager.
For those who want to exercise with their children at home, training platforms such as Yes2Move.com, which provides access to numerous workouts, including for parents and their children, can offer support. – Online training is a good idea for busy mothers and fathers. We can choose a convenient time for us and invite the child to play together. We can also find exercises that can be performed together with the child, which I strongly encourage – just filter the appropriate training intensity and level of advancement in our search engine. Contrary to appearances, training with a child does not require much – just a little patience and a lot of will. One needs to find a piece of safe space and our child’s favourite toys and then just enjoy the time spent together actively – explains Nicole Kiersnowska.
The MultiSport Index 2021 survey shows that as many as 81 % of women on maternity leave do not undertake any physical activity. Meanwhile, according to specialists, the attitude of parents is of key importance in building healthy habits among children.
Senior PR Specialist Benefit Systems