Paediatric Exercise and Health
On Monday 30th October, parents and staff attended a presentation by Dr Bert Bond from the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (CHERC) based at the University of Exeter.
The key take home messages were:
- Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the biggest killer and starts in childhood
- Physical activity can reduce CVD risk in children.
- As a nation, our children are not active enough
- Public health guidelines call for 60 min per day minimum. This should be closer to 90 min per day!
- Performing just 4 to 7 min of daily vigorous physical activity (VPA) is cardioprotective.
- High-intensity (VPA) exercise can be fun and successful in both boys and girls.
- High-intensity (VPA) exercise improves fitness.
- Fitness is more important than physical activity levels.
- Obesity causes low fitness and low activity in children.
- Obesity is often preceded by insulin resistance.
- Dietary sugar needs to be monitored.
Here are some comments from the adults who attended:
“I thought I had a good grasp on this stuff but have come away with a much deeper understanding of the effect physical activity has on preventing cardiovascular disease long term and exactly how it works with such a clear emphasis on the importance of high intensity exercise.”
“We need vigorous physical activity every day – for all of us in the family. We also need to have more regular and frank conversations about sugar content in food.”
“I was very grateful for the opportunity for the children to hear from a scientist the importance of exercise and where to find hidden sugar. My six year old is already planning how he can add a little extra activity each day, e.g. walking / scootering to and from school.”
“I loved that ‘obesity’ was cited as one factor and that it was pointed out that a cosmetically ‘fat’ person could still be very fit and a cosmetically ‘thin’ person could be very unfit and still giving themselves an unhealthy future. “If you think you look good so don’t need to exercise, you have missed the point” – my favourite quote!
“We will be making changes to now do the school run via foot/bike/scooter as it’s a really easy 20 minutes of activity a day at least. Our weekends will stay active but we will be thinking about what we do and whether it is the right kind of active (vigorous exercise) to benefit the children.”