Habits we pick up at school can shape the rest of our lives.
They are called our formative years for a reason – and I am sure we can all think of habits, for good or ill, that have been with us since we were young.
And exercise, or an interest in physical activity, is one such good habit.
This is why news that very nearly one in 10 reception-aged children in Portsmouth is classed as overweight, is troubling. Even worse, that doubles to 20 per cent by the time they are 11.
Ideas about how to encourage youngsters to take part in physical activity have come and gone down the years, and the latest to be employed by one Southsea school is to introduce the Department of Health’s 10-Minute Shake Ups scheme.
Instead of an hour straight, the children at Wimborne Junior School take exercise in 10-minute blocks throughout the day.
Judging from the response of the school – and the pupils taking part – it would appear the scheme has been a success in motivating the children.
The involvement of corporate giants in schemes such as this will always be viewed with some scepticism – in this instance it’s Disney – but at least it is more appropriate than a fast food chain or some fizzy drink.
It was a savvy move by the Department of Health, as watching the enormously popular Disney Pixar movies would normally be a sedentary activity. At least this way, they are linked to something physical.
There is obviously an element of self-interest on behalf of the sponsor company – it potentially gives them access to vast numbers of youngsters in their schools, and Disney is no slouch when it comes to marketing.
But the sad reality is that these kinds of schemes would find it hard to succeed without such backing.