‘Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game’

– (Michael Jordan)

Schools and settings must grasp the wider academic and health benefits that can result from participation in physical activity and sport, if they are to tackle the sedentary lifestyles of children.

Whilst the overemphasis upon exam success and academic attainment continues to be valued above everything else, particularly within the secondary school culture, there seems little incentive for students to place Sport on their list of priorities. However, the costs of physical inactivity are plain for all to see – childhood obesity levels continue to rise and being inactive increases the risk of developing other medical conditions. In addition, being inactive can also undermine children’s mental and emotional well-being which in turn can affect their academic achievement. This can limit children’s ability to achieve their true potential in all areas of school life, whilst more active pupils were more likely to perform in the classroom and show higher levels of self-esteem.

Schools and settings are ideally placed to ensure that physical activity becomes a lifelong habit and Active Schools should become the norm.