Improved physical activity call

Ulster Unionist Councillor Glenn Barr is calling for improved physical activity and wellness in Northern Ireland schools.

Mr Barr said high-quality physical education is as important as maths, science, or any other core subject because it “correlates directly to the health and well-being of students for the rest of their lives”.

Mr Barr said: “P.E and physical activity have cognitive benefits too and can make students more receptive to learning.

“There is significant research showing that children who are more physically active - in P.E class, throughout the school day, and during break times – perform better in class and on standardised tests.

“Improving opportunities for physical activity is an imperative for improving our children’s academic achievement and their health.”

He added: “The impact that sedentary lifestyles are having on Northern Ireland children is alarming.

“Children are at excessive risk for serious lifelong health problems like diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and arthritis.

“We need a joined up approach to dealing with sedentary lifestyles.”