I just read an article from thestar.com (the Toronto Star online) about how physical activity in elementary schools does not reduce childhood obesity. Okay, I can understand where that's coming from because some children do not have the healthiest lunches nor enough time for physical activity. Believe me, I can relate.
In a nutshell, I'm not the greatest athlete. I like to work out and such but when I was in elementary school I didn't do a lot of physical play. My gym classes were 40 minutes long and in those forty minutes we got changed for 10, sat in attendance groups for 10, and played a sport (that I probably was really bad at) for the last 20 minutes. However, I had huge classes (meaning 30 students+ in some cases) so when alternating shifts or taking turns with equipement, each student probably only got 15 minutes max of physical activity time.
The article reports that it is mandatory to have 2o minutes of exercise a day in Ontario. In my elementary school, we never had gym everyday. Apparently, 150 minutes of exercise is suggested during a week in a Toronto grade school. That's 30 minutes a day for a five day school week.
Do we know which elementary schools truly follow these rules? No we don't.
Obviously, the onus isn't on schools only. Children should be active on a daily basis even when they're not at school. As cliched as it sounds, children should be spending time outside, riding their bikes, playing four square, and whatnot even when they're at home.
It was reported that BMI ratings did not decrease between school children compared to kids in a control group.
Hmmm. Control group? Elementary school community? Are the two supposed to be the same? Elementary schools should have control over how much physical activity students receive per day/week. But, with regards to eating habits, is that a school priority? Yes, good eating patterns should be taught but students at that age eat what their parents give them and maybe sneak some snacks in before and after school without an adult's consent.
Eating and physical activity habits matter in the school environment just as much as on the home front. You've probably all heard this before, but having a healthy home environment sets a strong personal foundation for a child.
Should the onus be put entirely on the school? The home? Should the two be working harder together to help obesity rates decrease?
If you want to read the article check out this link: http://www.healthzone.ca/health/article/610709