During this week’s readings, the thing that stuck a cord with me the most is the fact that children, even children that are still young enough to be participating in both recess and gym, are not getting a healthy amount of physical activity per day. A lot of children respond to being forced to exercise with anger and many develop a dislike for exercise that stays with them later in life.
This article from The Telegraph talks about a study that showed that when children are forced to exercise in school by mandated programs, they often do less physical activity throughout the rest of the day. As we discussed in class, this is usually a more unhealthy behavior than having the children participate in light to moderate exercise throughout the day, rather than a burst of heavy activity followed by a completely sedentary day.
The article goes on to further explain that not only is forcing children to exercise a bad thing, but it isn’t even solving the problem of childhood obesity. A better approach would be to promote healthy eating in children, in hopes that the trend will continue into their later life. In order to best accomplish this, schools should provide healthy snack alternatives during lunch, and for younger ages, during snack time. While kids enjoy milk and cookies, I’m sure if carrots and apples are promoted heavily by schools, they will enjoy them just as much.