THE LOCKDOWN may be providing some relief for the ‘global epidemic’ of childhood inactivity while also helping fight the Coronavirus, suggests a new poll into British families’ daily activities during the pandemic.
Before the Coronavirus crisis set in the World Health Organisation was warning that four in five 11- to 17-year-olds around the world are not doing enough physical exercise, potentially damaging their health, brain development and social skills.
However a new poll of 1,000 parents and their children aged three to 14, which was carried out as many families are still holed up in their homes during the lockdown, found that millions are being inspired to go outside together to exercise.
89 per cent of kids are now telling their parents that they are ‘eager’ to do outdoor exercise such as wildlife trails, climbing, cycling and even jogging, according to the poll. Meanwhile 59 per cent of parents believe that their children are ‘very interested’ in going outdoors.
Despite the coronavirus ‘R’ rate in the UK having crept up, 82 per cent of parents in the study for Black Mountain also said they felt ‘confident’ in going outside to exercise as a family unit.
Getting active outside is known to help improve cardiovascular and muscle health and has unexpected health benefits for the body and mind, such as decreased stress levels and improved attention span, sleep and vitamin D levels.
The positive result for children’s health comes despite research from Bristol University in November last year which warned that Primary School children had been becoming more inactive, with children between six and 11 losing more than one hour of exercise every week with every year that passes.
However there are also concerns around how much families understand about social distancing when exercising outdoors, with 21 per cent of parents in the study saying that they would feel ‘confident’ in taking their children to play with other families in a playground or at a local picnic.
The study also found that cycling was the most popular physical outdoor activity for families during the lockdown, closely followed by walking, doing wildlife trails, jogging, using the local playground, climbing and swimming.
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