Campaign aims to shake-up sedentary borough schoolkids

Stourbridge News: Year five pupils at St James's Primary School, Wollaston, join in the 10 Minute Shake Up - Neve Doy, Sam Booker, Conor Petford, Lucy Millinson and Joe Pritchard. Buy photo: 291444L Buy this photo Year five pupils at St James's Primary School, Wollaston, join in the 10 Minute Shake Up - Neve Doy, Sam Booker, Conor Petford, Lucy Millinson and Joe Pritchard. Buy photo: 291444L

HEALTH chiefs have launched an initiative to get kids moving this summer after figures revealed more than two thirds of borough youngsters do not get enough exercise.

Change4Life has teamed up with Disney to launch the new 10 Minute Shake Up campaign at primary schools to help improve the fitness levels of pupils who do not achieve the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day.

Figures show only 32 per cent of children aged five to ten in Dudley are active for at least an hour on five or more days a week - meaning a staggering 68 per cent of borough primary pupils fail to meet recommended daily physical activity levels.

Not surprising perhaps then that in Dudley nearly a quarter (23.6 per cent) of reception aged children have been labelled overweight or obese - higher than the national average of 22.3 per cent - according to 2012/13 figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The figure rises to 37.1 per cent for year six children - compared to the national average of 33.3 per cent.

However - Joy Boyes, Dudley's behaviour change intervention officer, hopes to start to turn things around with the launch of the new campaign which aims to get children across the country moving for an extra 100 million minutes through short ten-minute-activity bursts.

To kick-start the campaign, a host of borough schools staged their own 10 Minute Shake Up on Tuesday July 15 at 3pm.

Councillor Rachel Harris, Dudley's cabinet member for health, said: "The 10 Minute Shake Up campaign is a great way to encourage children to do more exercise and, together with our local events, should set them on the way to their recommended 60 minutes exercise a day.

“The good news is there’s lots going on in the borough to keep children active and entertained, from free local events to discounted sports club sessions."

Health experts say increased physical activity in school aged children leads to better academic achievement, behaviour and physical health, increased attention span, improved self-confidence and a reduced risk of developing chronic conditions in the future.

Parents can find out more about activities taking place in the borough by visiting www.lets-get.com/activezone or search for Change4Life on the internet to sign up for a free 10 Minute Shake Up pack which includes a stopwatch, wall chart, activity cards, reward stickers and Disney inspired ideas for fun short-burst activities.

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