No Time for Play
How Hectic Lifestyles are Affecting Children's Health
Vertbaudet explores the importance of being active and offers help to get busy families fitter
A new guide aiming to inspire families to get active together has been released by leading children's clothing specialist Vertbaudet - helping to address the growing problem of childhood inactivity.
Since dedicating time to staying active can be a hard task for busy parents, Vertbaudet's new guide, 'Fit Families', offers ideas of activities the whole household can do together - meaning less hours in the gym or time apart from the family.
Playtime and exercise seems to be slowly decreasing in UK families: over half (54%) of parents find just half an hour or less a day to play or read with their children , and over a quarter (26%) of women and 19% of men are classed as 'inactive' as they do less than 30 minutes' activity a week. Vertbaudet aims to help tackle the problem by encouraging parents to do more of these things - by just combining them.
Paul Farrar, Online Marketing Exexcutive, at Vertbaudet said: "When you have a household to organise, children to look after and work to get done, we understand that finding the time to keep up an exercise regime can seem like a challenge you could do without, that's why we've created a great solution.
"The whole family can benefit when parents are encouraged to exercise together with their children. As well as parents no longer needing to find the time to go to the gym or catch an exercise class, they will be able to spend quality time with their children, as our new Fit Families guide suggests ways you can enjoy this quality time whilst getting that 'all- important' exercise, together."
Inactive children - a growing problem in the UK
As a nation, we are becoming increasingly inactive. Today, the UK is around 20% less active than it was in the 1960s, with a third of men and half of women in England classed as not active enough to stay healthy. If things continue in the same vein, the UK is on course to become 35% less active by 2030 .
Parents influence habits
Parents' activity levels have been shown to have a measurable impact on children's own activity levels. A study published in the journal Pediatrics goes against the notion that young children are 'just naturally active' and demonstrates that parents have a crucial role to play in helping children develop healthy activity habits early on in their lives. The data, gathered from more than 500 mothers and pre-schoolers, showed that the more activity a mother did, the more her child did. These findings emphasise the need for the whole family to engage in more activity - something Vertbaudet's Fit Families guide encourages with suggestions of activities the whole family will enjoy.
Government guidelines recommend that adults take part in 150 minutes of at least 'moderate intensity physical activity' (e.g. brisk walking) over the course of each week. Children and adolescents should be active for an hour each day, with around three of these hour sessions consisting of strenuous exercise each week.
[LINK TO PREVIOUS WORKING FAMILIES PRESS RELEASE FROM VERTBAUDET]
Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England 2014, Health and Social Care Information Centre, Published February 26th, 2014.
Everybody active, every day: The case for taking action now, Public Health Department, October 2014.
Activity Levels in Mothers and Their Preschool Children, Pediatrics, published March 24th, 2014.