With data from The Millennium Cohort Study revealing that half of all UK seven-year-olds are not getting the recommended one hour of physical activity each day, the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) calls for urgent action to be taken in Suffolk to prevent a future epidemic of adults with increasing weight-related health problems.
REPs, the Register of Exercise Professionals, which is a owned and operated by SkillsActive, stresses the immense long-term health and economic implications of this data.
The register’s Level 4 category helps consumers find professionals trained to the required standard to help children tackle obesity, while the Register’s category for physical Activity for Children is specifically designed for under 16s.
Greg Small, operations manager for SkillsActive Registers, said: “These shocking results highlight the urgent need to boost physical activity among children.
“Parents in Suffolk can help by encouraging early childhood fun activities, thus establishing a life-long pattern of fitness and health.
“Accredited professionals can also help by instilling the correct exercise habits from an early age. REPs professionals have the necessary qualifications and skills for those working with young people.”
The Millennium Cohort Study, published in BMJ Open, found that only just over half of seven-year-old children in the UK achieve current recommended levels of daily physical exercise – this is significantly lower in girls (38 per cent) than in boys (63 per cent).
The 6,497 participants were 7-year-old to 8-year-old children.
Greg continued: “By integrating physical activity into daily routines, we can significantly reduce sedentary time among young children.
“This will ensure our children maintain a safe, healthy physical weight, and develop a life-long enjoyment of exercise as part of a daily routine.
“Bike riding, running, swimming and playground activities are all great exercises for young children, along with more formal sports such as football and tennis.
“We must all – parents, government and professionals – work together to ensure we establish solid patterns of childhood activity to win the battle for our children’s current health and future happiness.”
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (September 5) Echo.