Couch-potato school kids at risk

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Results from the National Secondary Students’ Diet and Activity survey show nearly one in four secondary school students are overweight or obese. This is putting them at a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer later in life.

“Watching television, using a computer and playing electronic games, which usually involve sitting for long periods of time, have become a big part of young people’s leisure time,” says Tony Thirlwell, CEO of the Heart Foundation NSW. “However, we know that children and teenagers who spend less time doing these things have better health than those who spend too much time doing these things.”


Here are some tips from The Healthy Kids website, a fantastic tool for children and families about how to eat well and get active.

  • Encourage kids to help with household chores, such as walking the dog, washing the 
    car or mowing the lawn.
  • Go for a family walk after dinner.
  • Choose activities the whole family will enjoy. Make a list of ideas from each family member and choose a few activities from the list.
  • Vary the activities to prevent boredom.
  • Walk or ride a bike with your child to the local shops or to and from school.
  • Keep a football, frisbee, skipping rope, scooter or bat and ball in your car.
  • Plan your weekend and schedule a regular time for physical activity that fits in with the whole family.
  • Take part in either organised sport or activities at the local parks – make it a feature of your weekend eg football, bike rides, kite-flying.

For more great tips, see