Physical Activity: A Key to Pediatric Health

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Currently there is a focus in schools and society on the extent of physical activity and obesity in young people Introduction Physical Activity is ranked second, behind tobacco, in being the most important factor in health promotion and disease prevention in Australia (Vic Health (n.d)). According to the 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, “17 per cent of boys and girls were classified as overweight, 6 per cent were obese”. This Essay is looking at the issue of obesity and the importance of Physical Activity in middle childhood, this being 6 to 10 year olds, and what a teacher can do to increase the amount of physical activity these children participate in. Also discussed are some of the different strategies that could be implemented to assist with this issue. Why is physical activity important for the 6 to 10 year old age group? Between the ages of 6 to 10 years, physical activity is important as it supports many aspects of a child’s development. These aspects include the overall health of their bodies, the cognitive and social skills necessary for getting along with others, and their sense of self-worth as active and capable beings. (Berk. 2001. p.314). Physical Activity is needed for the development and consolidation of gross and fine motor skills. (McDevitt & Ormrod. 2010. p. 167) The World Health Organisation recommends that children in the 6 to 10 age group engage in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity each day (World Health Organisation, 2011). This recommendation doesn’t need to be all at once but an accumulation of physical activity throughout the day. Physical activity includes any movement that is being done, be it, completing c... ... middle of paper ... ...out-us.php Nutrition Australia. (n.d.). Healthy Living Pyramid. retrieved from http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/healthy-living-pyramid Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/index.php Unicef . (1999). Co-operation games: Fruit salad. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/teachers/learner/fruit.htm Vic Health. (n.d.). Physical Activity. Retrieved From http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/en/Programs-and-Projects/Physical-Activity.aspx Victorian Institute of Teaching. (2008). The Victorian Teaching Profession Code of Conduct. [Brochure] Melbourne. Vic: Author. World Health Organisation. (2011). Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health 5-17 years. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical-activity-recommendations-5-17years.pdf

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