Published: 26 April 2021
National Active School Week (#ASW21), part of the Government’s Keep Well campaign, takes place from 26 to 30 April this year.
As National Active School Week takes place, the START is encouraging parents to consider the increased family time during the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to add a healthy habit, such as physical activity, to their day.
National Active School Week (#ASW21) is part of the Government’s Keep Well campaign. The #ASW21 'Active Every Day Challenge' encourages both school communities and families to work together to help more children and young people gain more active minutes every day.
Parents/guardians are asked to help young people to continue to find ways of being physically active after school.
Options to using family time to begin a healthy habit could include getting children more involved with mealtime preparation or making healthy snacks with their parents. Putting screens away in favour of indoor play or getting out safely and actively together as a family could also help.
COVID-19 has brought a lot of restrictions to our life but it has had some upsides. Spending more time together as a family has been one of the benefits of COVID-19 lockdowns. Research by Behaviour and Attitudes found that 86% of people value their family life more now than before the pandemic began.
Research for the START campaign found that approximately 50% of parents found it difficult to manage screen usage, treat consumption and physical activity since COVID-19 began.
Sarah O’Brien, National Lead, Healthy Eating and Active Living Programme said, “Since March 2020, we have been regularly checking in with people in relation to COVID-19, how they feel about it and how it affects their lives. The most recent reports tell us that around half of parents surveyed find it challenging to manage children’s diet, physical activity and screen-time.
Taking small steps to build changes into how we spend time together either by cooking family meals or putting on the rain coats and getting out to play with the children, regardless of the weather, can pave the way for spending less time on the couch in front of a TV or other screens. It’s difficult but it will be beneficial to every family’s health. As part of the START campaign, we have really good help and useful resources for parents at www.makeastart.ie.”
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