A health and social issue timebomb
Current trends predict that by 2050 over 90% of the UK population will be overweight or obese (Foresight Report 2007). The life patterns of inactivity and obesity are formed by the age of ten. That puts primary schools and their head teachers right at the coalface in the fight to avert this health and social issue time bomb. Interested to hear more and find out what steps can be taken to avert this?
Change through the decades
In the 1970s children grew up in an active and mainly healthy environment. They walked to school, played in the playground and ate mumʼs cooking before “playing out” with their friends in the streets and parks. Come the 1980s children started to get lifts to school, played less actively, and watched too much TV and videos. School sport provision was being affected by the after-effects of the teachers’ strikes. Nothing filled this void effectively and a creeping problem began.
In the 1990s fast food outlets increased enormously and computer gaming became a key pastime for children. Physical literacy started to decline at a faster rate and school PE and sport could not respond significantly enough.
The new millennium saw the Government put the emphasis on ‘Sport’ rather than ‘Health’ outcomes. Worryingly, childrenʼs fitness fell by 9% during the decade – despite the investment in the Youth Sport Trust. Meanwhile, Playstations abounded!
An effective solution
Project HE:RO™ (Health Engagement:Real Outcomes) is a programme designed for primary schools and addresses inactivity and obesity through a preventative, upstream, innovative approach that adds a new dimension to school staff provision.
This involves schools hiring Evolve Health Mentors who inspire children:
• to be more active
• to take more personal responsibility for their future lifestyle choices
• by providing them with positive role models