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Couch Potato children, Computer Games and No PE at School

Couch Potato children, Computer Games and No PE at School.


Now that the schools are finished for the summer, How many will spend their summer sitting inside?What healthy habits have they picked up at school?Is the government worried about this?


“Physical Fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity” John F Kennedy.


How right he was and I wish that same ideology was still been applied today throughout further generations. We seem to have lost our desire for physical activity or education in this country throughout the majority of schools.


As a young boy growing up in the countryside, all my mates had bikes. If the tyre was flat then we walked. Raining? We put on jackets! How did we spend our time? Playing football in gardens or fields, climbing trees, jumping, running, sprinting etc. Some kids had the luxury of computer games but the commando 64 or atari wasn’t that attractive.


But in school, we had a huge yard, ran as fast as we could and played soccer all the time, not to mention fall, bruise, bleed and laugh!


But over the last 10 to 15 years physical activity has drained in some schools and at home. I feel it started when schools were suddenly afraid of getting sued if a child fell and then the health and safety lobbyists hit every corner. Teachers were nearly forced into retreating from their own childhood sporting school memories and told kids to “slow down”


Alas slow down they did. Education cuts meant that in secondary schools PE went down the pecking order when it should be a leaving certificate subject.


We focus all our energy on learning Irish that most will never use (we can’t even sing our national anthem loud in Irish!) and we don’t bother to educate them on Nutrition, intake of water, Exercise, flexibility and how all this can combat stress and obesity.


This summer some kids will go to a camp for a week or if the sun is up will cycle to a shop for an ice cream but most will be indoors on their computers and iphones. All while parents sit in their comfort zone thanking god at least the kids are quite.


At the risk of offending parents, shame on you. Your young child has not got the whereabouts yet to know the importance of exercise and doesn’t realise that their actions now will come back to haunt them as a overweight teenager. I see it all the time lately. Mom and 15 year old teenager coming into my gym looking for help.


The Irish Government push for a measly 1 hour a week in sports in Schools. How much money would be saved in Obesity levels in Hospital not to mention other illnesses, if that level was brought to at least 4 hours a week playing sports.


Moms and dads are driving their slightly overweight child to school while they rush off afterwards to the gym or walk the park in the morning. Is that not Ironic?


I wish to state that some schools are amazing when it comes to Physical education and parents do wonderful fundraising for events but not all do.

There were a few reports out this morning that reinforced my opinion of which I will put the links up below.


One was Former Ireland Rugby Captain Keith Wood who is now the chairmen of the “Healthy Ireland Council”. He is heading up a group thats tasked with making exercise easier for everyone. It is been supported by Minister for Health Dr James Reilly and World Health Organisation General Dr Margaret Chan.


Also, a report in the ‘Journal of the American Heart Association’, revealed that 3 hours of TV a day doubles risk of dying young by its sedimentary lifestyle.

Hopefully Keith Wood will pull those Interested groups together like he did when he played in the front row and stand up and fight against lack of exercise in schools and in daily life.


We owe future generations that much.


Brian Roache




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