Child obesity is a global epidemic. With so many video games and streaming services available, most children now grow up turning to a screen for entertainment. After the pandemic brought students indoors for a year or longer, their dependency on electronics became even stronger. Now that schools are reopening worldwide, it’s important to prioritize fitness in the classroom. A short recess break is just one piece of the puzzle. To help primary schools prevent child obesity and improve fitness, here are a few tips to boost your students’ activity.
Encourage Teachers to Use Movement as an Educational Tool
There are many games and activities that students can perform without sitting at a desk. Encourage teachers to get creative, utilizing games like hopscotch and scavenger hunts to get students moving in the classroom. Throughout the day, there should be plenty of opportunities for kids to get up and move around. Every hour, teachers can have a 5-minute stretch routine, and the whole school can participate in a morning movement period. The goal is to make movement a part of each student’s daily lives. The more activity incorporated into their routine, the more likely they are to be active on their own.
Upgrade Your Playground
Purchasing the latest in outdoor gym equipment tech can make recess not only fun, but more productive for everyone. Students will love getting to climb, move and play on the equipment, which is safe and engaging for all ages. If you decide to upgrade your playground, consider how you could optimize the layout to encourage greater activity. Many students tend to congregate in groups, ignoring equipment or feeling left out by the most eager children. Ensure that there is a rhyme and reason to your playground’s layout, and purchase enough equipment for multiple students to play without fighting or overcrowding.
Revisit Your Physical Education Curriculum
Sit in on a few classes and ensure that your school’s physical education curriculum meets global standards for childhood wellness. It’s important for children of all ages to perform at least 60 minutes of physical exercise each day. There should be both strength building and aerobic exercises incorporated into each class. Additionally, fitness education courses should play a larger role in your school’s physical education program. Rather than simply making students feel as though they need to reach a benchmark, focus on what health and wellness skills they are learning.
Host Active Events for Families
From soccer games, to annual treasure hunts, and obstacle courses, host free events that help you teach your child to play with others and encourage families to get active together. These are low-cost projects that can not only help students be more active but also help parents engage with their children more. To help out your community or boost school fundraising, why not host a school-wide walkathon or park clean-up? These events help students and their families exercise while doing something good. You can also host presentations and send home handouts that give parents helpful tips on how to encourage their children to be more active at home.