Globally, about 80% of adolescents aged 11-17 years old, are not meeting the minimum daily physical activity requirement of 60 minutes, according to the World Health Organisation, with this conclusion based on a study published this year in the Lancet, evaluating national survey data of young people in 146 countries in both 2001 and 2016. Not much has changed over this time period across most nations, including Poland, with boys faring better than girls overall in terms of being active, however, still 73.7% and 84.2% of Polish boys and girls respectively, fail to achieve just one hour of moderate (walking, swimming, cycling) to vigorous (running or playing a high-energy team sport like basketball or football) intensity exercise per day.
This age of sedentariness and reluctance to move, owing to our modern world and all its supposed advances in technology, is extremely disconcerting, not only for the physical health of our youth, but also their psychological, emotional and social well-being, both now and in the future. Class 7A has been exploring the negative implications an inactive lifestyle brings (increased disease risk – obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis) but has also been looking at the multiple benefits, regular exercise offers body, mind and character (and especially if both individual and group sport is undertaken) – keeping a healthy weight, building strong bones and muscle mass, and increasing aerobic fitness; improving learning and memory, mood and sleeping patterns; reducing stress and anxiety levels; acquiring better time management and coping skills; and gaining teambuilding and leadership experience.
In addition to monitoring their own physical activity output over a week, the students of 7A, prepared posters to promote the importance of regular exercise to school-aged children. They also interviewed their parents to find out their activity levels when they were teenagers in the 1980s. The majority of students concluded their parents were far more active than themselves, and regularly incorporated games, formal sport, as well as incidental exercise into their everyday regimen, totalling several hours, not just 60 minutes!
Some of those posters and videos are presented here.