This week is European Week of Sport! Punctuated on Wednesdays National Fitness Day @FitnessdayUK
This week European Week of Sport reminds us that inactivity is a leading factor in poor health and it's time to get involved and get active. Organisations such as schools, Gyms, recreation centres and activity events across the country are opening their doors and providing free activities throughout the week and particularly on Wednesday which is also National Fitness Day.
Nearly half of all EU citizens don’t do any sport. The growing sedentary epidemic is responsible for the increased rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity related cancers. The initiative now in its fifth year aims to raise awareness on the benefit and positive impact of sport staying active.
Last year’s participation was outstanding as 13 million people took part in 50,000 events supported by 47 partner organisations in 42 countries from Ukraine to Malta.
Events being put on include Salsa events in the middle of London, runs, fencing, martial arts, yoga and dancing. The hashtag #beactive is being used on social media throughout the week so spread the word with this hashtag and let’s help to get it trending.
Those wanting to learn more about the event and how they can participate should check the website out here.
Whilst yesterday saw Mind hosting #MindfulMonday a series of events across the country showing how sport can support mental well-being. Wednesday’s National Fitness Day is considered the most active day of the year when hundreds of schools, workplaces, gyms and leisure centres how events up and down the country.
Thursday is the Day of Opportunity focusing on giving young people the chance to try multiple new and exciting activities from rowing to boxing and more. Friday brings a day of inclusivity, Saturdays Festival in Cardiff will have giveaways, performances and parkour whilst the evening culminates in Ministry of Sound playing host to a series of workouts at their iconic dance venue and an extra special club night.
Schools wanting to increase their pupils physical literacy and promote healthy lifestyles can opt in to a try before you buy standing desk trial here.
Sport England has called for a focus on children’s health after they conducted a world leading 130,000 participant survey into the activity levels of children and young people. The survey is the largest ever of its kind and contains results that detail how 2.3 million children do less than 30 minutes of activity each day.
The chief medical officer recommends at least 60 minutes of exercise a day for young people, the World Health Organisations recommends that at least 3 days a week that activity should be aerobic.
Chief Executive of Sport England Tim Hollingsworth said
“I am calling for a national focus on the health and wellbeing of our nation’s children and for the whole system to be united in delivering change. Our children deserve better and Sport England is determined to play its part,”
“Parents, schools, the sport and leisure industry and government all have a role to play in addressing and increasing childhood activity. This research is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and is a big wake-up call for all of us."
Meanwhile another survey of 2000 parents has demonstrated that mobile phones are edging out bikes, skateboards and roller-blades on children’s Christmas lists. Staggeringly 1 in 10 of the parents admit their children don’t even leave the house for a week at Christmas.
Whilse 3 in 10 youngsters get less than 30 minutes or less of fresh air daily, they get 3 hours of television and two and half hours on iPad, phones and computer games.
Tech is anchoring our children down and too many of them are not doing enough exercise or activity to keep them healthy. The World Cancer Research Fund recently detailed how their report demonstrated a link to 12 major cancers from increased screen time in children.
Jack Shakespeare of UKactive Kids said "movement has stripped out of our children’s lives with 'generation inactive' fed a staple diet of sofa play and screen time...It is vital for the health and happiness of this generation that we find ways to get children active."
Public Health England's head of diet, obesity and physical activity, Dr Alison Tedstone, added: “Physical activity is crucial for good physical and mental health of children and young people - this work is a timely reminder for everyone to do more to help them be more active.”
Nick White, MD of UK Standing Desk Manufacturer iwantastandingdesk.com said "Kids are becoming ever more sedentary and inactive, it makes sense to get them more active in the classroom and create a positive behaviour pattern to take into adulthood...entire schools in the US are becoming all standing with a view to seeding a culture of good health. This can only lead to happier, healthier children."
Given the recent reports that children’s lifespans are estimated to be 5 years shorter due to sedentary habits. The Sport England Survey encouragingly does demonstrate that 3 million children are getting enough activity, exceeding 60 mins a day but the Sports Minister Mims Davies says "the number of young people who are not doing enough is simply unacceptable...we must build a comprehensive and cross Government offer to create a truly active nation."
The biggest takeaway from the survey available here is that children benefit from activity. Their general happiness increases. Their mental health improves and as our recent report detailed they outperform inactive children. We owe it to all our children to raise the bar and get the UK up to speed when it comes to activity at home and in the class room.
Eiger Standing Desk School Trials Are Available Here