How teachers can get children more active at school
As adults, we all know how important it is to keep active when at work – mainly if your job is sedentary. It was suggested by Office technology manufacturer, Fellowes that in just 20 years’ time, the average office worker could expect to have varicose veins, a hunched back from sitting all day and become overweight due to little movement!
According to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), almost 1 in 5 children are overweight or obese when they start primary school, rising to 1 in 3 when they start secondary school. So although children might not be sat for as long as the average office worker – there’s room for improvement where health concerns lie.
Not only is exercise crucial for their wellbeing, but with exercise, children can become more focused in lessons. With several lessons a day sat a desk – how can you encourage your class to become more active?
Get children acting out the answers
Studies being conducted by Dutch researchers highlight children can get involved in less stereotypically ‘physical’ subjects such as maths and English by acting out the solution to the problem. The child can jump on the spot to signify the numerical answer to a mathematical problem – two plus two is four, you would jump four times to show you knew the answer, for example.
Although these exercises don’t present a massive amount of physical activity, these movements still burn calories and make the lesson more exciting and less sedentary.
Encourage children to walk further to school
Even if the child lives ten miles away from the school gates, encouraging parents to drop them off further away so they can walk a short distance with them can help them get some much-needed pre-school exercise.
Natural sunlight helps set our circadian rhythms – a process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and it will also give your body an energy boost – much-needed before school starts!
Introduce organise sports at playtime
Playtime is the most active part of any child’s day – they have space and freedom to run around the playground and play games with their friends. But just because that opportunity is there doesn’t mean they don’t spend all their breaks sat down on a bench.
You can encourage children to participate in physically active and team-building sports. Ensuring no one is left out and everyone gets exercise, making the most of their playtime. If it’s a rainy day, try and ensure there is an indoor space that is safe for the children to run around and take part in an exercise activity.
Get children moving in assemblies
For more extended assemblies, children will need to sit down, whether that’s on the floor or chairs – but have you thought about introducing shorter standing assemblies? A video went viral in 2019; it showed a principal of a school in China teaching the whole school how to shuffle dance. The video shows the completed and rehearsed routine – this got all children learning a viral dance move in assembly to keep their attention and boost their fitness! – Watch the video below!
Is there a communication gap between your school and its parents? To close that gap and improve school-wide communication, a school app could be the digital solution you’ve been looking for.
Send mass communication – SMS, email etc. to parents and receive instant responses. For activities such as school trips and parents evening – this method of communication can help save unnecessary paper and administrative processes – particularly amidst the coronavirus outbreak.