The Importance Of Physical Activity

A look at adolescence and the trends that transition into adulthood

bildeChildhood Obesity Varvel, G. 2006

Post 2 : Mitchell Soames

Being an advocate for health and fitness I chose to research further into exercise and its effects on the physical and psychological, sharing the therapeutic impacts on ones livelihood.

Particularly interested in our youth, I saw to identify the patterns of laziness and lack of physical activity in early years compared to adulthood to reveal the relationship it has to health. This brought me to my first article written by a number of experts in health and nutrition ‘Physical activity and obesity in children’ published in 2011.

This article shares that,

“Physical activity and a healthy diet are the cornerstones of obesity prevention and management.” – Andrew P. Hills

Early lifestyle choices have the tendency to be maintained through to adulthood forming a strong link between physical, mental and social aspects of growth and development, helping to set a pattern of participation in physical activity across a lifetime. I acknowledge the link as I personally lived an active lifestyle and have friends that did during our adolescent years, have managed to continue heading into our adult life (for the majority).

Understanding that our younger years are quite crucial, I turned my interest into the educational systems (specifically elementary and secondary) I found a current article including Professor Andrew P Hills (who contributed to the first article) and other experts ‘Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion in Schools’, 2015.

This was a very informative source, which included the Comprehensive school physical activity program recommendations (CSPAPR) as shown.

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It is discouraging to see many of these recommendations aren’t followed or included in schools (speaking from past experience). A survey is referenced ‘Barriers to providing physical education and physical activity in Victorian state secondary schools’ 2010 which included 115 Australian secondary school PE teachers.

The crowded school curriculum and lack of facilities are the two most commonly cited barriers to student participation in Physical Education and Physical activity.

I found this to be so true from my experience, attending secondary school and studying PE, I remember the curriculum was so extensive that our PA classes were often cut short or left out due to time restraints. It always amazed me that there was so little time allocated to PA given the benefits far more important than most of the things taught at school.

For instance PA promotes cardiometabolic wellness, improves cognitive performance, and effectively aids in the prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other disorders of metabolism, neurological diseases, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and cancer (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008,Bouchard et al., 1990, Garber et al., 2011, Pate et al., 1995 and Stranahan and Mattson, 2012). I believe it is key to develop PA interests and skills from a young age to ensure a better chance at a richer healthier life both physically and mentally.

REFERENCES
IMAGE

Varvel, G. 2006,  ‘Childhood Obesity’ Viewed 14 August 2016 <https://www.indystar.com/article/20130416/OPINION09/304160010/>

RESOURCES

Hills A.P., Andersen, L.B., Byrne N.M. 2011 ‘Physical activity and obesity in children’ Vol. 45 no. 11 pp. 866-870.

Hillsa, A.P., Dengelb, D.R., Lubansd, D.R. 2015 ‘Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical (…)’ Vol. 57, no. 4 pp. 368–374.