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ESSA Relaunches Exercise Right for Kids
In order to continue raising awareness of the benefits of exercise in children who may be living with a chronic condition, or at risk of developing one, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is relaunching its educational platform, Exercise Right for Kids.
The relaunch reflects ESSA’s concern that the majority of Australian children are insufficiently active, are at higher risk of developing a range of chronic conditions, or are at risk of worsening their symptoms for those already living with one.
In 2016, the Active Healthy Kids Australia (AKHA) Report Card on Physical Activity of Children and Young People, available here, gave Australia a failing grade of a D- for overall physical activity levels, indicating that only a poorly 19% of young children are accumulating 60 minutes of exercise a day.
ESSA Chief Executive Anita Hobson-Powell explains “the 2016 Report also highlighted the lack of physical literacy available to parents, coaches, teachers, friends and family of children, specifically the ‘tools’ children need to be physically active to benefit their health.”
After recognising this significant gap for physical literacy and education, ESSA then launched Exercise Right for Kids in February 2017, as a channel for specialised resources to inform the Australian public on the importance of exercise for children with chronic conditions and disabilities.
Hobson-Powell states “one of the greater challenges with motivating children to exercise is making it more fun than other activities, such as spending time in front of a screen. Exercise Right for Kids provides a range of research based fact sheets, with fun and easy to do exercise tips to help encourage children to be active.”
To re-launch Exercise Right for Kids, ESSA met Breeanna Sauer, Accredited Exercise Physiologist from Fresh Start Professional Healthcare, who supports, Marcellus, and his mum Sueallen.
Sauer explains “Marcellus has a condition known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), Type III Severe, most commonly known as Brittle Bones.
“OI is a genetic disorder characterised by bones that break easily and a person with OI may have as many as just a few or several hundred fractures in a lifetime.”
Sauer has been working with Sueallen, who also has OI, since she was pregnant and has seen firsthand how exercise has changed their lives and why it will continue to be a fundamental part of Marcellus’ ongoing treatment.
Exercise Right for Kids has been developed to give an insight on how exercise delivered by an experienced and qualified professional can help children manage the symptoms of their chronic condition and improve their quality of life.
With the help of the Exercise Right for Kids mascot, Agito, who was designed exclusively for Exercise Right for Kids and features on all of the resources and e-books, children are guided through each of their chronic conditions or injuries to break down the barriers of exercise.
Hobson-Powell concludes “exercise, especially when prescribed by a professional, is essential to improve the physical and mental health and well-being of all children with chronic conditions.”
To download resources for children with chronic conditions, such as factsheets, activity charts, e-books or posters, featuring Agito, click here to visit the Exercise Right for Kids website.
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