Research from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health has been incliuded in an article by The Conversation discussing the impact lockdown has head on the health and fitness levels of schoolchildren. Professor John J Reilly, Professor of Physical Activity and Public Health Science, focuses his article on a combination of research from pre-lockdown measures and post-lockdown measures, with particular attention paid to how lockdown may have accelerated the decline in fitness among school-age children.
There is a growing list of unintended consequences of the COVID-19 lockdown. Some of these are quite well known (e.g. delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment, growing mental health problems). To this list the article in The Conversation adds low and declining fitness of children.
Lower fitness will impair current and future health of children, and will impair their wellbeing and academic attainment.There are good examples in relation to child fitness internationally (e.g. Japan, Slovenia) summarised in the article in The Conversation. Other countries could achieve impact by adopting approaches taken in Slovenia for example, and should be starting by making more use of fitness testing data (e.g. beep testing, which many schools do routinely) to monitor fitness.