Inactivity: the Evidence Continues to Grow


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.

Over the years though, 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.

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)

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, the result being that many of the school/sports halls remain unused for the majority of the day.

Our new promotional material features the quote:

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.

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