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Childhood Obesity and Physical Education

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Childhood Obesity and Physical Education

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  • June 14, 2011
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“Schools serve as an excellent venue to provide students with opportunity for daily physical activity, to teach the importance of regular physical activity for health, and to build skills that support active lifestyles”(Robert wood foundation, 2007). In today’s modern society, the importance of physical activity in a child’s development needs to be recognised and promoted. It is important that teachers and parents encourage and facilitate students to participate in programs which enable them to be both physically and mentally active. Encouraging ‘middle aged’ (6-10yrs) children to be involved in physical activity, whether at school or at home, helps their growth and development and also promotes positive factors in their general health and wellbeing.

Physical education can consist of various activities, either in the classroom or in the playground. Creating diverse programs and activities such as running, skipping, jumping, swimming, dancing and typical team sports, contribute to these physical aspects of growth and development. These activities stimulate blood and oxygen circulation throughout the body and brain, which assists the academic side of learning, thereby increasing a child’s concentration span in the classroom. “When a child has a clearer mind and is physically active, they tend to perform better academically” (Robert wood Foundation, 2007). Encouraging children to participate in team sports and group activities can enhance their ability to understand teamwork, cooperation with others and good sportsmanship. Physical sports and activities enable children to develop confidence and to also stimulate muscle strength, hand and eye coordination, gross motor skills and a good level of fitness.

For children that receive no encouragement to be physically active and also have unhealthy eating habits, the risk of developing obesity, diabetes and other health problems becomes somewhat more prevalent. “In the decade 1985-1995, Australia saw sharp increases...