The Importance of Physical Activity

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Physical Activity is undeniably good for everyone, not only does it keep you fit and healthy but when started at a young age, it can set up good habits for life. Sometimes however, people do not take care of their physical wellbeing, resulting in obesity and other eating disorders which can be detrimental to their health. Obesity is the condition of being seriously overweight. It is now considered a global health epidemic by the World Health Organization (2000) (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010). Physical activity is important to children in the middle childhood age group because a staggering amount of children have become overweight in the last few decades and teachers play a role in preventing obesity by becoming a positive role model, teaching children about physical activity and the importance of nutrition, and understanding the way in which children develop and what their developmental needs are during those stages (McDevitt & Ormrod). In middle childhood, approximately 40% of obese 7 year olds remain obese as adults, according to Epstein, Wing and Valoski (1985). Childhood Obesity is a major concern as it not only can have related social issues where children can get bullied, but can result in serious diseases in adult life such as Diabetes and heart conditions (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010). It is because of these alarming facts and figures that it is even more important to instil the benefits of physical activity and eating habits in children. During middle childhood (ages 6-10) there are many physical developmental changes happening within the child’s body. These include slowing but regular increases in weight and height and the fine tuning of gross motor skills that can then be used in more structured play activities.(McDev... ... middle of paper ... ...he role of recess in children’s cognitive performance. Educational Psychologist, 32, 35-40. Cited in McDevitt, T., & Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Child Development And Education. (4th ed.). New Jersey. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall. Budd, G. M., & Volpe. S. L. (2006). School based obesity prevention: Research, challenges and recommendations. Journal of School Health, 76, 485-495. Cited in McDevitt, T., & Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Child Development And Education. (4th ed.). New Jersey. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall. Haerens, L., Deforche, B. Maes, L., Cardon, G., Stevens, V., & De Bourdeaudhuij, I. (2006). Evaluation of a 2-year physical activity and healthy eating intervention in middle school children. Health Education Research, 21, 911-921. Cited in McDevitt, T., & Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Child Development And Education. (4th ed.). New Jersey. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
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