Obese children are likely to become obese adults. Naturally the reverse is also true - being healthy in childhood sets you up for a healthier adulthood.
As adults we lead more sedentary lifestyles than previous generations, we work longer hours, watch more TV, drive more and are more connected to our digital devices. Is it any wonder that children’s lifestyle habits have changed drastically in the past few decades? For example in 1981 50% of school children walked to school; in 2014 that number was halved to 25%. As a result of changing habits, research from Safefood shows that one in four children in Ireland could be considered obese.
Obesity in childhood has long-term impacts. Obese children are likely to become obese adults. Naturally the reverse is also true,being healthy in childhood sets you up for a healthier adulthood.
So how can we make that difference?
To help prevent childhood obesity the recommended benchmark for school-aged children is 60 minutes of exercise a day. Between been driven to school, sitting all day in classrooms, playing on computers, video games, messaging their friends online, sit-down homework, as well as bad weather and many family and social factors, it should come as no surprise that Safefood suggests that currently 4 out of 5 children do not meet this allotted time.
Step forward SuperTroopers!
Super Troopers with laya healthcare is a health homework programme for schools designed by educational specialists, Real Nation. Super Troopers is a far-reaching programme based on positive psychology that aims to help instil healthy habits and behaviours in children as young as four years old.
It is the first-ever homework programme that ‘connects the dots’ between the three biggest influences in a child’s life; their peers, their teacher and their parents. Super Troopers encourages teachers, parents and children to treat the task of daily physical activity with the same importance as their regular school homework.
Running over 30 weeks and involving teachers, parents and children aged 4-12 years, Super Troopers provides an easy-to-follow physical activity ‘homework’ planner based on short-burst activities that marry daily exercise with imaginative fun.
The programme is based on positive psychology - school children who participate begin their Super Troopers daily ‘health homework’ at school during the day and then take it home to complete with their families in the evenings, along with the rest of their ‘regular’ homework.
SuperTroopers aims to form long-term healthier attitudes and behaviours among primary school children and the rest of their family that kids can take from childhood into their adulthood. Core to this is building positive connections between physical exercise, wellness and food, as well as covering aspects of physical activity and fundamental movement skills (agility, balance, strength, cardio, endurance, flexibility & coordination).
As the biggest health homework programme in Ireland, Super Troopers is endorsed by Healthy Ireland, which recently announced an action plan that involves every part of Irish society in improving our health and wellbeing.
In 2015/2016 some 180,000 school children, 7,000 teachers and 75,000 families signed up to the biggest health homework programme in Ireland.
For more information go to www.supertroopers.ie or call 01 522 48 48.