Children’s fitness should be at the center of Covid recovery – Scotsman commentary



Exercise is especially crucial for children (Photo: David Davies / PA)

According to a study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, 90% of households increased their calorie intake during the pandemic, which peaked at more than 15% above normal around May of last year and remained at around 10% above normal at the end of 2020.

So those of us who are far from “beach ready” may be secretly very happy to miss out on an overseas vacation in the sun this summer.

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For those who have embraced this unhealthy lifestyle with particular enthusiasm for such a long time, the consequences could be more serious.

But perhaps our biggest concern should be for the health of the nation’s children, especially given another report on the effects of the pandemic on school sports.

A report from the fundraising platform found that nearly three-quarters of elementary schools stopped all sports and extracurricular activities during the pandemic, with 45% of children not doing the recommended daily exercise. In addition, 12% of football clubs are threatened with permanent closure, as well as 55% of gymnastics clubs. And suspended swimming lessons could prevent hundreds of thousands of children from swimming 25 meters.

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A fifth of Scots have not exercised in the last year of lockdown, poll finds

If they join their parents to eat more, as seems likely, these two factors combined could have a lasting effect on their fitness and health. And the habits we form in childhood can last a lifetime.

The loss of sports facilities risks repeating the situation that followed the prolonged teachers’ strike of the mid-1980s, when many schools stopped playing sports outside of working hours, which some say is the end of the line. ‘one of the reasons for the 23-year gap between appearances. by the men’s national football team in a major tournament.

Much has been said about the need for school children to ‘catch up’ on missed lessons during the lockdown.

However, a concerted effort also needs to be made to help children improve their physical fitness, which has been linked to better mental health and better academic performance. We cannot allow the lives of another generation of children to be ruined by a lack of access to sport.

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