Post-primary school children

The move to secondary education is an exciting time for children but it can also be difficult as they adapt to a new environment. At this stage in their lives children will have many different choices when it comes to how they spend their time. This is a great opportunity for them to become involved in team sports which can enable them to make lasting friendships and develop many skills for their lives ahead.

We know from research that the transition from primary to secondary school often results in children being less active and that this is especially the case for girls. This is partly the result of an increased emphasis on academic achievement within schools but is much more to do with children choosing inactive pursuits in their spare time such as watching TV, surfing the internet, playing video games and listening to music. While all these things are good in moderation it is when they are done to the exclusion of physical activity that problems arise.

A child’s attitudes towards being active will have been influenced before they get to secondary school but it is essential that children are encouraged to be active throughout their childhood and that being active is seen as a normal and rewarding thing to do. Remember that the lifestyle learnt at this age could well stay with them for the rest of their lives.

For more information on how much physical activity is recommended for this age group visit :

http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/your-activity-record-book