NewsCorona pandemic exacerbated lack of exercise among schoolchildren

Corona pandemic exacerbated lack of exercise among schoolchildren

Created: 09/25/2022, 07:31 am

Classroom in Baden-Württemberg. © Philipp von Ditfurth/dpa

Distance learning schools, sports clubs and leisure facilities closed: the corona pandemic has had a strong impact on the lives of children at times. This can also be seen in the lack of exercise.

Kiel – According to a study commissioned by the health insurance company DAK, the corona pandemic has exacerbated the lack of exercise among children in Germany. The proportion of sufficiently active children among the socially disadvantaged has dropped particularly sharply from 27 to 22 percent, the DAK announced. The Institute for Therapy and Health Research (IFT-Nord) in Kiel surveyed almost 18,000 schoolchildren in grades 5 to 10 in 13 federal states in the 2021/2022 school year.

Overall, 68 percent of all boys and girls surveyed were sedentary. 38 percent would have spoken of less sport in the past two school years. The DAK reported that it was 44 percent for children from a lower social class and even 46 percent for disadvantaged girls. Schoolchildren spend an average of more than twelve hours a day sitting down. Only 46 percent of those surveyed knew that sitting can make you ill.

According to the national exercise recommendations, it is advisable for health reasons that children and young people exercise moderately to intensively for at least 90 minutes a day, explained the DAK. Of these, 60 minutes can be everyday activities such as walking to school or climbing the stairs in the school building. The remaining minutes should be devoted to intense physical activity. Less than 90 minutes of exercise a day is considered sedentary.

DAK warns of a massive health risk

The CEO of the DAK, Andreas Storm, called the lack of exercise among young people alarming. “Because it is jointly responsible for a wide variety of diseases.” The deficiency is a massive health risk that is often underestimated, but can also be changed. “We must make it our task to encourage people to enjoy movement again and to prevent long periods of sitting.”

From the point of view of the IFT-Nord study leader Reiner Hanewinkel, the pandemic has exacerbated the lack of exercise. In particular, those school children who had not been active enough before had moved less. “It shows again that the health-endangering lack of exercise in Germany has a clear social component,” said Hanewinkel.

According to its own information, the DAK has around 5.5 million insured persons, making it the third largest health insurance company in Germany. dpa

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