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School children stand for lessons to fight obesity

A seven week trial is taking place at a school in Bradford, where primary school pupils are standing for some of their classes to try to improve the children’s health.

Teaching children while they stand at a desk is thought to improve their behaviour in addition to reducing obesity.

The scheme has currently been adopted in Australia, and Grove House Primary School in Bradford is the first in the UK to trial the programme. The children, who are aged nine and ten years old, spend 230 minutes on a weekly basis standing behind specially designed desks. Six pupils at a time stand, swapping with other students throughout lessons.

According to Dr Stacy Clemes, the lead researcher, inactivity is one of the biggest causes of childhood obesity. The doctor, who is from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, states that many cases of obesity in children are linked to being sedentary, so standing for part of the school day will encourage activity.

The parents of the children attending the school gave permission for the trial. The group of 55 students was divided into two, with half in the trial up to Easter half term and the other group taking part after the break. Technology is being used to monitor progress, including weight, height and motor skills.

Another scheme that is developing within schools is the encouragement of pupils to have a healthy tuckshop snack. Leicestershire and other counties in the UK are among those taking part in this nutritious food scheme.

Posted by Jennifer
May 20, 2014

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