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New toolkit to help schools promote a healthy lifestyle: More activity. Less sitting. Better diet. Better sleep.

By Rachel Payne, ISCA and Viktória Anna Kovács, Hungarian School Sport Federation

The International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) and Hungarian School Sport Federation have teamed up to present an evergreen toolkit to help teachers, school staff and NGOs working with schools to convey healthy lifestyle messages to children. The toolkit was launched for European School Sport Day 2022, but its messages and activities ideas can be used every day in school settings. 

Find out what schools can do to help children develop a healthy routine that includes More activity. Less sitting. Better diet. Better sleep. Discover practical activity ideas, tips and tricks for kids, ready-made social media messages, and how NGOs who support schools can commit to the EU’s #HealthyLifestyle4All pledge.  

The toolkit is intended as a holistic resource that includes physical activity among a broad spectrum of elements that together comprise a healthy lifestyle, as we outline below.

More activity. 
Exercise helps not only to nourish children’s bodies, but also their brains. As well as developing musculoskeletal strength and cardio stamina, regular physical activity can boost brain growth and improve cognition, memory and concentration. So more activity is a win-win that should lead to better health and better performance in class. 

Less sitting. 
Children accumulate more hours of sitting each day than ever. They sit in class during school hours and in front of screens in their free time due to the evolution, attractiveness and necessity of digital technologies. But what if we could make learning time more active? And how can we help children kick their screen habits? 

Better diet. 
Children need regular meals and snacks to give them the energy and nutrients to grow and stay healthy. But it’s not just about what children eat, but also the environment around them when they are eating. It should be calm and enjoyable without distractions from television or computer games. 

Better sleep. 
Sleep is essential for growth, immunity, learning and memory, and it is important in helping a child heal and recover. Healthy sleep means a good quantity and quality of sleep, with regular sleep routines. A lack of healthy sleep has been linked to mental health problems, poor growth, excessive weight gain, and reduced school performance.

The More activity. Less sitting. Better diet. Better sleep. toolkit was compiled and authored by Dr Viktória Anna Kovács from the Hungarian School Sport Federation and Dr Rachel Payne from ISCA with support from ISCA’s EU Operating Grant in the Field of Health. It is the first in a series of three ISCA toolkits on healthy lifestyle promotion.

Discover more:  download the toolkit here  

Posted on 16/09/2022 by Rachel Payne, ISCA and Viktória Anna Kovács, Hungarian School Sport Federation


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