Schools across the country remained closed during the year 2020 owing to the risk posed by the coronavirus pandemic. A survey conducted by Sportz Village Schools' highlighted the impact that school closures have had on the health of students.
Covering more than 2.5 lakh children across 250 towns and cities, the survey looked at the state of health of children on various fitness parameters including BMI, Aerobic capacity, Anaerobic Capacity, Abdominal or Core Strength, Flexibility, Upper Body Strength, and Lower Body Strength. The results are worrying, the survey said.
- Total number of children surveyed: 2,54,681 children from 364 schools across 250 cities and towns.
- 1 in 2 children do not have healthy BMI.
- 1 in 2 children do not have adequate Upper Body Strength.
- 2 in 3 children do not have adequate Lower Body Strength.
- 1 in 6 children do not have the desired Abdominal Strength.
- 1 in 3 children do not possess the desired Flexibility.
- 2 in 3 children do not have the desired Aerobic Capacity.
- 1 in 3 children do not possess the desired Anaerobic Capacity.
Schools that incorporated a structured in-school sports program observed a drastic increase in the health of their children -The percentage of children exhibiting healthy levels of Upper Body Strength increased by 21%, Lower Body Strength by 11%, Aerobic Capacity by 6% and Anaerobic Capacity by 5%, the Sportz Village's 11th Annual Health Survey said.
It said that there was a need to ensure that the play time that children get in the schools is structured so that they can extract the most value out of it.
Saumil Majmudar, Co-Founder and Group CEO, Sportz Village, said, “Sportz Village's 11th Annual Health Survey (AHS) clearly highlights the low levels of fitness in children across the country. Although this is a cause for concern, we know how to combat the issue. Structured play that is inclusive and age-appropriate, directly impacts several health parameters such as Upper Body Strength, Lower Body Strength, Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity," he said.
"School leaders can help address the key challenge through inclusion of adequate structured sports or physical education periods, both online and offline, in the academic curriculum for the coming academic year. Parents can also help improve their child’s fitness by encouraging good screen time that gets children active at home in case there are restrictions around play in the neighborhood," he added.