October 22, 2019

Nigerian youth, children not exercising enough — NHF


By Gabriel Olawale

The Nigerian Heart Foundation, NHF, has decried low level of engagement in physical activities among children and youth even as it outlines some of the health benefits associated with regular exercises.

Executive Director of NHF, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye pointed out that there are a lot of problems responsible for low level of compliance, “one of the major problem is the fact that parents are apprehensive of their children engaging in outdoor activities like taking a walk to school and this was as a result of insecurity.

“Another thing is that many parents feel the school they want their children to go is far away from home and not trackable so they subscribe to school bus while some schools made it mandatory. Some schools don’t even have space for physical activities.

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Speaking in Lagos during the unveiling of “2018 Nigerian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth” and the launch of Exercise is Medicine Centre, Akinroye said the 3rd edition of the report shows that physical activities among children and youth are still not adequate but better than the 2016 report.

“The report aims to access the importance of physical activities in management of health condition in the country and level of compliance among youth and children.

We observed that awareness around importance of physical activity is still very low even among the healthcare professional which is expected to prescribe it.

Corroborating his views, Director of Physical Activity, NHF and National Centre Director of Exercise is Medicine, Professor Fatai Adeniyi that Exercise is Medicine Centre will fill the gap through capacity building and support for research. “Exercise is Medicine aimed to engage in training healthcare providers, setting up of exercise is medicine in community and schools, integration of exercise is medicine in health system among others.”

Director General, NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako said the Agency will support research into physical activities in the country and promote awareness around the important of exercise.