Inactivity – You Don’t Have to Measure It, Just Look…

Early Memories

This comment about inactivity comes from a friend of ours – a nurse in the NHS. She was referring to inactivity as well as obesity. It made us think about the noticeable changes over time.

When we first started teaching, we were young, naive and optimistic, not forgetting enthusiastic.

We ran after school clubs because we believed it was our duty. We did so because we could see the benefits, both physical and social. One particular wonderful memory as a RQT at Oakworth Primary School – completing the 3 Peaks Challenge in Yorkshire. That’s 3 mountains over 26 miles with Year 3 and Year 4. We can’t imagine that being done these days.

Inactivity Decreasing in Yorkshire

Inactivity Decreasing in Yorkshire

Over the years, we noticed and commented on the general decline in fitness levels. Children simply did not seem to have the speed and stamina of their predecessors. This was a gut reaction, rather than a conclusion based on scientific evidence.

Research from the Other Side of the World

However, it seems that we were not wrong, when you read the articles based on the work of Dr Grant Tomkinson at the University of South Australia:

Children take one and a half minutes longer to run a mile than their parents at that age

by Richard Gray (@chalkmark)

Today’s children would come last in a race with past generations

by Tom Whipple (@whippletom)

Great Britain Post London 2012

The causes of inactivity are many, some of which are the result of ‘pressure from above‘. The drive to raise standards in Literacy and Numeracy is admirable. However, this comes at a cost. There are many schools in the UK who focus solely on the teaching of academic subjects in the morning. Numeracy and Literacy sessions are now being supplemented by Phonics and Guided Reading. Many of the school/sports halls remain unused for the majority of the day.

One of Tagtiv8’s pioneering partners noted:

“Tagtiv8 promotes active learning. The games allow teachers to ‘reclaim the sports hall’ not just for PE, but for Literacy and Numeracy too.”

The trend in fitness levels is worrying, even more so when you consider the findings of Lord Harris (@LordTobySays) et al in the Report: Keeping the flame alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy (HTML)

For further details, click here.

We welcome hearing your thoughts…