As schools reopen, will this be the least fit generation of schoolchildren ever?

POSTED: September 9, 2020Category: ArticlesBY: Catherine Graham

Public health responses to the pandemic have focused on dealing with the coronavirus, but attention is now turning to the growing list of negative effects of COVID-19 containment measures. One such problem is the low level of fitness among children and teenagers.

One measure of fitness is cardio fitness (or cardio-respiratory fitness, to give it its full name), which is the ability of the heart, lungs and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to the cells in the body. This type of fitness can be assessed using step tests (stepping on and off a step, then measuring heart-rate recovery), distance runs and beep tests (also known as bleep tests), which measure the number of 20 metre runs, back and forth, a person can make before exhaustion.

Cardio fitness is important because it is related to children’s learning and academic attainment. It is also related to their current and future health, wellbeing and quality of life. Fitter children and teenagers learn better and are healthier than less fit people, and they tend to be fitter and healthier as adults.

Read the full article on The Conversation website here.

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