Children Need 3 Hours Of Exercise Per Day To Achieve Physical Fitness & Succeed In School

By Samantha Finch, Parent Herald September 10, 06:10 am
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Children need to perform three hours of exercise or physical activities per day to achieve physical fitness and success in school. That's according to the government of Finland, a country known for having the most physically fit kids in all of Europe.

Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Finland's minister for education and culture, said performing ample physical activity helps children be happy and develop their social interaction skills, BBC reported. Due to the high academic success rate of physically fit kids, schools are preparing to introduce new ways of teaching.

Anneli Rautiainen, head of basic education with the Finnish National Board of Education, said the new school curriculum will include two to three hours a week of physical education and outdoor activities. They also plan to incorporate non-traditional methods of teaching that promote physical fitness. Those non-traditional teaching methods involve removing tables and chairs from classrooms so kids won't have to sit for long periods of time while learning from their teachers.

According to the World Health Organization, children and teenagers aged between five and 17 should have at least an hour of moderate physical exercise every day. Going beyond one hour will provide additional health benefits that young people can carry until they get older.

Some examples of physical activity for children are active play, running, gymnastics, skipping rope, dancing, swimming, riding a bike, and jumping on a trampoline, the NHS listed. Vigorous activities that will provide greater benefits are those that involve exercises for strong muscles and bones such as push-ups, tug-of-war, rope or tree climbing, rock climbing, basketball, tennis, football, rugby, and martial arts. Doing vigorous forms of exercise can boost young people's self-esteem aside from better physical health.

Parents can encourage or join their children to be more physically active. Moms and dads can also run or play with the kids in the playground, or swim or ride bikes with them. This way, not only are they committing to a healthier lifestyle; they are also bonding with each other, according to Daily Local News.

More and more children are employing a sedentary lifestyle, which involves too much sitting and too little exercise. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, young people aged between eight and 18 watch around four ½ hours of television each day and 7 ½ hours on all forms of screen media such as TV, computers, video games, and DVDs. This can lead to childhood obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high blood cholesterol levels, KidsHealth listed.

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