New school exercise regime created to battle childhood obesity

Thu, 02 Feb 2017

An exercise regime is being introduced across the country in an attempt to reduce childhood obesity.

The regime, entitled the Health Active Schools Systems (HASS), was created by children's activity provider Fit For Sport. One of the main benefits of this new scheme is that it will provide the schools with detailed reports on each of the children's daily activity levels.

The scheme was unveiled just a week after a report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health stated that 40 per cent of children from less affluent areas were diagnosed as being obese or overweight, a figure much higher than the 27 per cent of more well-off children.

The HASS is part of the new Childhood Obesity Strategy from the Government, which requests that primary schools provide at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day, and runs alongside promises from the Department of Education to double the funding for sport and PE in schools by the end of 2017.

HASS will monitor the overall physical progress of pupils, while also reporting on the effectiveness of each individual school in terms implementing sports initiatives and their use of the Government's funding.

The new regime will be open to all primary schools, and will provide feedback on physical activity levels for each child, class and year group so that teachers are able to pinpoint areas in which there is room for improvement.

HASS will also monitor the progress of children in swimming lessons, and will provide resources and online plans for schools that do not have a full-time PE teacher.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, chair of ukactive, said: "Today's generation of children are the least active ever and the first in history to face potentially shorter lifespans than their parents.

"Through its recent strategies, the UK government has acknowledged that there is a serious problem, but without robust measurement of our children's fitness and physical literacy, we will continue to have gaping holes in our evidence base and be unable to measure the impact.

"Empowering schools to track and monitor children's activity is the first step to understanding the true nature of the childhood inactivity problem.

"Armed with this, we can react with the most appropriate and effective interventions to give our children the best chance of a happy and healthy adulthood."

Dean Horridge, founder of Fit For Sport said: "I defy any primary school which says they won't benefit from using the Healthy Active Schools System. It responds to Government recommendations, tackles childhood obesity and physical inactivity head on, is free to use and delivers vast amounts of valuable data. It sets the benchmark and I urge all schools to get involved."
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