Children & Families
Obesity has become something of a buzzword, but for all the wrong reasons. Rates have quadrupled over the last 25 years and according to the Welsh Health Survey 2004-05, some 55% of adults are now obese or overweight.
Childhood obesity rates also continue to increase. And as obese children have an 80% chance of remaining obese in adult life, the next generation is already facing a lifetime of poor health.
We all know what we need to do to achieve a healthy lifestyle, but few of us actually put it into practice. Children should be notching up 60 minutes worth of physical activity five days a week, while adults need 30 minutes. But in Wales this is only achieved by:
- 41% of primary school children;
- 24% of secondary schoolchildren;
- 34% of adults.
To turn things around, the Sports Council is looking to bring about a culture change in the children of Wales. By engaging young people in a wide range of enjoyable physical activities, we hope their interest and commitment will be secured for life.
Surrounding children with active opportunities wherever they go will help them hit – and then exceed - the 60 minute daily target.
The benefits of exercise for children extend beyond the obvious. Getting active can help them:
- make new friends;
- unwind from studies;
- relieve stress and tension;
- boost self esteem;
- avoid boredom;
- improve communication skills;
- develop confidence.
Parents play a crucial role in how their children approach sport and physical activity, but they needn’t be confined to the sidelines. Parental involvement provides a solid role model as well as valuable fitness gains for the whole family.
Getting active is also a great social opportunity for parents. Rather that sitting around waiting to collect the kids from swimming or training, parents can get together for their own bout of activity.
Children and families who get together for other pursuits should also be thinking about ways to keep active. Incorporating activity into meetings, setting inter-club challenges or organising active fundraising events is a great way to widen the club’s appeal and keep members’ interest alive.
Relevant Case Studies:
To see how Mum's in Blaenau Gwent ended up becoming regular netball players after attended their childrens' netball sessions, click here.
SCW Voluntary Sector Corporate presentation:
If you’re keen to get something moving in your organisation or community, why not take a look at this presentation and see some of the projects the Sports Council for Wales has supported so far (please note there be a time delay for the document to upload):