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Friday 21st October 2016

Parents' misconceptions over exercise

23rd November 2009

A poll by the British Heart Foundation has found that many parents are overestimating the amount of exercise their children take.


The BHF polled 1,000 parents in the UK with children aged between eight and 15. The results were used to write a report called Couch Kids.

They discovered that although around seven in 10 parents believed their children were "active enough", only one in 10 children reported that they took the recommended levels of exercise.

The report revealed that obesity levels in children have risen since the 1990s and the amount of exercise taken by children had not increased.

The BHF have urged schools to maximise the chances for children to take exercise. They have also called for guidelines to be released to recommend activity levels for children of all ages and said authorities should collect information about the amount of exercise children take.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF, said: "Mums and dads need to take the blinkers off about how active kids need to be in order to keep their hearts healthy. Kids need to get moving more, yet we've been standing still for the last decade."

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said the government was investing £372 million in order to tackle obesity and to stop people from gaining too much weight.

The spokesperson added: "Many of the recommendations in Couch Kids have already been addressed in the government's obesity strategy and the PE and School Sport for Young People strategy."


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