Why should children exercise?

Children's activity levels are a national concern. Health problems that may have links to childhood inactivity have been raised in many recent government white papers. A primary concern is that inactivity in the formative years can contribute to inactivity in adulthood, which in turn can constitute a greater risk for developing chronic diseases. While chronic diseases are rarely reported in childhood, there is evidence of children developing some of the risk factors that contribute to chronic disease in adulthood (obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood cholesterol). Physical activity is promoted through government white papers as a positive habit that needs to be encouraged and continued through to adulthood as a preventative measure against chronic disease.

A 2011 report by the UK's four Chief Medical Officers (CMO) - called Start Active - Stay Active - sets out the following guidelines for physical activity for different age groups to stay healthy:

- Under 5's - 180 minutes every day once a child is able to walk
- Children and young people ( 5 to 18 years old) - a minimum of 60 minutes, and up to several hours, every day of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity. This should include vigorous activity that strengthens muscles and bones on at least three days a week.

Providers such as Young Ones allow children the opportunity to try different activities and explore the variety of options on offer will help them find an activity that they not only enjoy but also want to take part in. activity and exercise can take on a number of formats and sport is just one of the options. "Not the sporty type" is not a barrier because exercise and activity is so much more. At Young Ones we try to be imaginative and creative with children's exercise, we want our children to know activity is for all.

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