Did you know.....

  • Four out of five children in the Republic of Ireland are still not getting enough exercise, posing serious risks to their health and wellbeing.
  • Just 19% of primary and 12% of post-primary school children are meeting the current recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily, instead spending hours sitting at their school desks, sitting at home doing homework, and sitting in front of the TV or computer

What does this mean ? 

Some short-term effects of inactivity
Some long – term effects of inactivity
  • Problems with bone heath
  •  Cancer
  • Breathing difficulties
  •  Heart disease
  • Physiological and social issues
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Problems with bone heath
  • High blood pressure

Our unfit youngsters: the facts

  • Girls are less likely than boys to meet the physical activity recommendations
  • The number of days per week that primary children reached the required 60 minutes of MVPA increased significantly if they took part in extra-school sport or physical activity, or if they actively commuted to school. 
  • 34% of preschool children have a TV in their bedroom
  • 2.2 hours is the average amount of time pre-school children spend watching TV daily 
  • In 1981, 50% of children walked to school. In 2014, this was reduced to 25% 
  • Primary school children spend much less time sitting than post-primary youth.
  • Few children (1%) spend less than two hours daily sitting viewing TV, videos or playing on the computer, the maximum screen time advised.
  • Active youth who meet the physical activity guidelines (≥ 60 minutes per day) spend significantly less time in sedentary behaviour than those that do not meet the physical activity guidelines. 

Children with disabilities

The benefits of getting active can be even greater for children with a disability. It can give them a good opportunity to make new friends, get fitter, stronger and healthier as well as learning a new skill and having fun. After all our sporting success at recent events such as Paralympic Games  and the Special Olympics, now is a good time to think about getting your child involved in physical activity. For more information go to www.healthpromotion.ie 

From a very young age I played competitive sports including Gaelic football, soccer, athletics, badminton, basically anything that was on in my local town of Foxford. When I was in my teens I was lucky enough to have played for mayo on the ladies Gaelic team. I started on the U14s and U16s, then Minor and Senior. The dedication and motivation that was needed was something else. I was playing for a few teams at the same time and kept this going for a few years. Although I loved the sport especially the team element I fatigued and found myself not having the same grá for it that I did when I started. With a heavy heart I gave up playing at that level. So here I am now aged 30. I have tried many different hobbies, from joining a gym, to a game or two of tag rugby to light jogging around my local area but never kept any up consistently. Until this summer when I joined bootcamp in Templeogue. It is the first time since my teens that I go to exercise because I want to and not because I have to. It took me a while to find an exercise that works for me but now I have, I love going every week. I love the mix of jogging, to hard-core exercises, the trainer pushing you to push yourself, to the chats with a new face each week. I find its a great way to de-stress, feel good with the added benefit of a great night sleep afterwards. 

Roisin, Co. Mayo