Par­ents Urged to Get Ac­tive With Kids For Bet­ter Fam­ily Health

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - Political News -

Par­ents are be­ing called on to get ac­tive to set an ex­am­ple and help turn around the poor health out­comes of the na­tion’s chil­dren by lead­ing re­searcher, Dr Natasha Schranz, of the Univer­sity of SA.

Less than one in five Aus­tralian chil­dren is meet­ing the na­tional rec­om­men­da­tion of 60 min­utes of huff and puff ac­tiv­ity ev­ery day, de­spite an in­crease in the num­bers play­ing sport.

Dr Schranz is the co-chair of Ac­tive Healthy Kids Aus­tralia which pro­duces a bi­en­nial Re­port Card on chil­dren’s phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els and has twice as­signed a D- rat­ing. Their next re­port is due later this year.

She said chil­dren needed daily ac­tiv­ity to re­duce the risk of health con­di­tions such as obe­sity and Type II di­a­betes.

Dr Schranz is among a na­tional group of ex­perts, led by the Aus­tralian Health Pol­icy Col­lab­o­ra­tion, be­hind a new re­port, Ac­tive Travel: Path­ways to a Healthy Fu­ture, which rec­om­mends “ac­tive travel” for school chil­dren as an ur­gent pri­or­ity.

The re­port calls for govern­ment ac­tion to help com­mu­ni­ties, schools and par­ents sup­port their chil­dren in ac­tive travel such as walk­ing or rid­ing a bike or scooter to school.

Harold Scruby, chair­man and CEO of the Pedes­trian Coun­cil of Aus­tralia, said: “Phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity is a ma­jor risk fac­tor for so many chronic dis­eases that can af­fect our kids at dif­fer­ent stages of their life, in­clud­ing men­tal ill­ness, car­dio­vas­cu­lar disease and can­cer. You have to in­vest in reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in order to get a div­i­dend. It's never free.”

“We re­ally need teach­ers, par­ents, car­ers and the com­mu­nity at large to get be­hind this event and its ob­jec­tives. The best ex­er­cise for all of us is reg­u­lar walk­ing, be­cause you can build it into your daily rou­tine.”

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