The World Health Organization (WHO) regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century. Obese children and adolescents are at an increased risk of developing various health problems in later life, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Excess weight on the body puts an increased pressure on joints, and this can lead to joint pain, as there is additional strain on the ligaments and other supporting structures.
Excess weight can also lead to muscle weakness as children may become more and more sedentary due to difficulties with mobility. In addition to the day-to-day problems of obesity, children may also experience psychological problems; low self-esteem, low confidence levels and feeling isolated are commonly reported.
Increasing activity levels is one aspect of weight management; physiotherapists are experts in prescribing exercise and supporting people to change their lifestyle.
Here are some ideas from the Medical Association to help your child become more active:
- Ensure activities are fun for your child. For example, set up an obstacle course in the garden.
- Set aside a specific time for physical activities.
- Be active as a family: walking, biking, swimming, trips to the zoo or park, roller skating, or anything else that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
- Involve children in household activities such as car washing, dog walking, lawn mowing or other active household chore
- Walk more! Walking to school or getting off the bus a stop early is an easy way to help lose weight.
- Limit the amount of time your child spends watching television and on electronic devices.
- Encourage your child to take part in a sport that they enjoy.
Our physiotherapists can devise an individualised programme that will aim to increase cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength as well as help with gradual weight loss and adopting a health lifestyle. If you are worried that your child has a weight problem, then please contact us to arrange an assessment and devise a management programme. Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.