Healthy body = Healthy mind.
We have heard this before right, but it feels like something that is more applicable to adults. When you are old enough to make your own choices, this is certainly when there is a drop off of activity levels.
However, this is more prevalent in young people now as they are leading more sedentary lives. Recent research from the Department of Health published in October 2017, reported 12 per cent of cases of depression could be prevented with an hour of exercise each week.
Similarly a team of neurologists at Stanford Medical School, studied brain scans and found regular exercisers helps with stress-management and anxiety.
This probably all seems pretty logical, but is also applicable to children in schools. This is backed up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, who state that regular activity helps children to:
feel good about themselves
have a positive outlook on life
keep a healthy weight
build healthy bones muscles and joints.
Healthline state that physical activity allows children to have a better outlook on life by building confidence, managing anxiety and depression, and increasing self-esteem and cognitive skills. Another study suggests that increased physical activity may be useful to prevent and treat childhood depression. And finally, as has been discussed in many articles, exercise has been shown to improve behaviour in the classroom and even attainment levels.
Now, whilst I’m not expecting you to read all the above articles, the point is this. It is clear that exercise has mental health benefits for all, but do our children have enough opportunity to play and be active during the school day? I see children with stress toys, and fidget spinners, which is fine, although I’m not convinced by them. I’m sure there are studies to show the benefits, but why not get them moving and exercising more? Exercise stimulates serotonin, your natural feel-good neurotransmitter, further reinforcing the need to get children more active and happier.
A healthy and active school is surely going to be a happier school. Inspired Playgrounds has developed a unique way to get the children at your school more healthy and active through out the school day.
We are now impacting over 6000 children with the project, increasing active minutes and having a positive impact on the above factors, including mental health. Using our markings, school staff and sometimes our coaches will deliver small group, or even 1-1 sessions to children identified as vulnerable or that suffer with anxiety. This has been such a powerful way for schools to use the markings. TA’s with no sporting background are able to use the markings with these children as a way for them to blow off steam, or to get them out of the classroom when they see their 1-1 is struggling and needs a break. They have noted real behaviour changes and the positive impact that the varying Inspired Playgrounds packages are having.