An astounding 55.4% of children between the ages of 9 and 17 years old do not comply with the physical activity recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). This figure rises to 73.3% when the female population of the same age range is included. As a result, the ALADINO study, coordinated by the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN), confirms that 4 out of 10 children ages 6 to 9 are overweight. Furthermore, 64% of these children dedicate more than two hours a day to sedentary activities, such as watching TV, using the computer, playing video games or spending time on mobile phones or tablets.
At Gasol Foundation, we always work under the approach that a “healthy life” does not only consist of a balanced diet …
At Gasol Foundation, we always work under the approach that a “healthy life” does not only consists of a balanced diet. It takes a combination of other components as well- participating in regular physical activity, resting and sleeping the necessary hours, and practicing good mental health. Our metaphoric healthy galaxy conveys this message quite clearly due to the fact that it cannot function if all 4 of the healthy planets (physical activity and sport, healthy eating, rest and emotional well-being) are not interacting and working with one another.
Did you know that physical activity helps to develop children’s bones, muscles and joints? Did you know that partaking in regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body weight, and promotes a more healthy cardiovascular system? Did you also know that physical activity helps with controlling anxiety and depression? Physical activity and sports can help with the social development of young children with regards to self-confidence, social interaction, and integration. Our goal is to not only fight against childhood obesity, but to also assure the optimal development of children. Under our motto Make It Healthy, Make It Fun, we convey to young children and their families the numerous benefits of physical activity and exercise by developing routines that makes having an active lifestyle fun and enjoyable. Whether it’s walking in the park, riding a bike, or going hiking, the options are endless. To make exercise even more fun, you can also make it a family affair.
Daily physical activity and sport recommendations:
- Children and young people ages 5 to 17 years old should invest at least 60 minutes a day in moderate to vigorous physical activities.
- Physical activity for more than 60 minutes a day will provide an even greater benefit for health.
How can children and young people comply with these World Health Organization recommendations?
By following a few simple guidelines and keeping in mind our #MakeItHealthyMakeItFun motto, achieving these recommendations is easy.
- Minimum 60 minutes a day of physical activity: According to the WHO, children and young people ages 5 to 17 years old should invest at least 60 minutes a day in moderate to vigorous physical activities. The practice of regular physical activity improves health and reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases, including obesity and diabetes.
- Limited use of screens: maximum two hours a day. Children who spend a lot of time watching television, using the computer, playing video games, or on mobile phones or tablets are physically less active in childhood. The WHO recommends a maximum use of screens for 2 hours a day.
- Active lifestyle every day: Regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy body and improves the development of the muscular and cardiovascular systems. It is important not to confuse physical activity with sport. We encourage any type of corporal movement, whether it’s through sports or other dynamic activities (playing, walking, dancing). All activity is beneficial!
- Practice physical activity with family: Exercising together as a family allows the perfect opportunity to not only get physically active individually, but to also promote family unity by spend time with one another. The latter provide adults a chance be an example for their children. Out motto Lead By Example conveys the importance of parents being role models to their young ones when it comes to integrating a healthy and active lifestyle for the entire family.
Through the Gasol Foundation, Pau and Marc encourage children, young people and their families to learn to enjoy physical activity and sports, and to include it in their daily routines. This will help to ensure them optimal health now and into adulthood.