The ever-thoughtful Julian Grenier brings to our attention – well, to mine anyway – the new physical activity guidelines in his blog and in the factsheet 2 It deserves some consideration, although I feel uneasy as I read it. . Part of me has to recognise where my opposition comes from: the tone, which is less factsheet than Diktat, and (deeper in my history) from the dire footie sessions in Junior and Secondary schooling where I was taught nothing and stood around, bored and cold and sidelined (and I now shamefacedly wonder about all those other classes where I lapped up attention at the cost of bored and sidelined classmates). However, three hours a day seems an awful lot to get in – until we turn from the terse and instructional language of the factsheet to the longer report itself, Start Active, Stay Active and in particular Ch 3 on Early Years.
Full marks to the repeated admissions of the paucity of research evidence on EY activity. But I find the argument interesting, and I worry about this reported connection:
Importantly, patterns of sedentary behaviour, particularly TV viewing, are relatively stable over time.
The brief, sketchy but important section p24 tells us soething about what the report sees as important about play, abd while I could argue about this rather instrumental view of such a core way of interacting, it is nonetheless worth quoting in extenso:
Active play opportunities should encourage young
•use their large muscle groups
• practise a wide range of different movements
• experience a variety of play spaces and
• set up their own play areas
• make up their own active play
• have fun and feel good about themselves and what they can do.
But does it have to seem as if we are required to do it? Oppositional me feels like catching the bus instead of cycling to work in the morning….