Hampshire schoolchildren in a 'different shape' due to Covid-19 lockdowns

SCHOOLCHILDREN are facing an increase in the amount of PE lessons they receive each week amid ongoing health concerns.

Monday, 17th January 2022, 10:34 am
Updated Monday, 17th January 2022, 11:46 am

Some schools in Hampshire have put additional PE activity into their weekly timetables, with fears that the Covid-19 lockdowns have left children 'in a much different shape'.

At a Hampshire County Council select committee meeting last week, Cllr Lesley Meenaghan, Conservative representative for Leesland and Town, said schools need to push this as a priority.

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Child obesity is on the rise

She said: ‘Schoolchildren have spent the best part of two years sat staring at a computer screen all day - I really do hope schools are putting things in place to help these young people improve their physical health.

‘Physical health goes hand-in-hand with mental health, so this is a really important issue to tackle.’

A health and wellbeing report published last year found that a third of Year 6 children and a quarter of Year R pupils are considered either overweight or obese.

Some 32 per cent of children were considered ‘physically inactive’ with the report also noting that the Covid-19 pandemic will have played a significant part in this.

Gosport, Havant and Rushmoor (Aldershot and Farnborough) were considered to be the fattest boroughs in Hampshire.

Natalie Smith, the county council's secondary and post-16 education manager, said: 'There are a number of schools across Hampshire that have increased their physical activity with additional exercise through things like yoga or doing the daily mile.

'Children have come back to school in a much different shape to what they were a few years ago, and that's something that is very much at the forefront of headteachers' minds at the moment.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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