Physical inactivity and children’s mental health

Johnny JenkinsDrivetimeLeave a Comment

Evidence shows that children and young people who are more active have more confidence, higher self-esteem, less anxiety and stress and better social skills – attributes that can help them deal with the challenges they face in daily life. Positive attitudes towards physical activity have also been associated with children being happier.

The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend that children do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, yet just 20% of boys and even fewer girls (14%), are meeting this target, despite 95% of children saying that they enjoy being active. 

To help the nation’s kids get more active this summer, the Change4Life campaign is encouraging children to play 10 Minute Shake Up games inspired by favourite characters from Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 and Incredibles 2; and Disney’s Frozen and The Lion King. Nearly two thirds (64%) of children surveyed said they would be inspired to be more physically active if they saw their favourite characters being active. Four in five parents (82%) think that kids are likely to enjoy sports and physical activities if they’re fun and 61% of children agree that this helps. 

Change4Life has also launched a new online quiz to help children, with their parents, find activities and sports that might be perfect for them to try, based on their skills and abilities.

Johnny spoke to GP and author, Dr Ellie Cannon, to discuss the survey results and offer advice to parents on how to get their children to be more active:

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