Physical Activity is important to middle childhood (6 – 10 year olds) because it gives them good self esteem and looks after their holistic health. It teaches our children to make healthy choices with food and to exercise from an early age. As a teacher it is important to role model so children know what is expected of them. In the body of this essay I will talk about why physical activity is important in the middle childhood age and what my role as a teacher is in preventing and addressing obesity. Finally I will discuss ways a teacher could assist in preventing and or addressing obesity.
For middle childhood (6 -10 year olds) physical activity is important for their holistic health and growth. It is important for the prevention of diseases such as: type 2 diabetes, blood pressure/hyper tension, heart disease, strokes and osteoarthritis. (Department of Health and Ageing - About Overweight and Obesity www.health.gov.au>...>Promoting Healthy Weight). Excessive eating leads to obesity, obese children have lower self-esteems and are less popular with peers then normal weight children (Graves, Meyers & Clark, 1998).
Children that have obese parents are more likely to grow up to be obese adults. Children build on their physical capabilities and gross motor skills, elementary children now use running around to play organised games and sports instead of just for the joy of it. They intensify their coordination and speed in running, kicking, catching and dribbling. Once children better their skills at sports it can be very gratifying to them. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010.p.161)
Organised sports can be an outlet for exercise; it maintains and enhances physical strength, endurance and agility. It also promotes social development with communication, cooperation and leadership skills. There is a down side to organised sports when parents and/or coaches promote unhealthy competition it can rob children of the enjoyment of sports and the physical activity. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010.pp.171-172)
Some children spend much of their non school time in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing video games instead of being outside playing, doing physical activity. It is important for middle school children to have a lot of physical activity and a healthy diet as this will hopefully eliminate childhood obesity and they will grow into healthy adults. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010.p.167)
My role as a teacher is to encourage children through positive teaching strategies such as encouraging physical activity as it is an essential part of every child’s day. To be pro-active, teachers should incorporate physical movement into day to day activities, with regular breaks it can actually increase children’s attention.(Pellegrini & Bjorklund, 1997; Pellegrini & Bohn, 2005).
To provide appropriate equipment and guidance so children can safely engage in physical activity. Have open space, playground equipment, balls and other athletic props to encourage...