Children could be soon be made to stand or squat at their desks to combat obesity

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  • With the latest statistics claiming that at least one-in-three British school kids are overweight, it has been suggested that children should either stand or squat at their desks during lessons.

    Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Dr Rangan Chatterjee from BBC1’s Doctor in the House are among those campaigning for healthy eating and exercise habits.

    Dr Chatterjee told the Sunday Times, ‘I want to see standing desks in schools as normal. I also want to encourage children to squat rather than sit’.

    He also expressed his concerns over the length of time children sit in lessons, suggesting that six hours a day compromises their backs.

    Lyndsay Hirst, physiotherapist and creator of Your Pilates Physio believes having children stand at their desks is a ‘fantastic idea’ and has more benefits than just combatting obesity.

    ‘[The desks will] help children develop strength in their postural muscles and potentially reduce the risk of them developing back pain in the future’, she said.

    Lyndsay has seen more and more children attending her clinic with neck and back pains as a result of sitting all day in school followed by spending their evenings playing on tablets and computer games. She believes ‘improving their posture resolves the problem.’

    Kewstoke Primary school near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset became the fifth school in the UK to start using standing desks in September last year.

    Mrs Harding told the Daily Mail she had already seen an improvement in the kids’ attention and focus during lessons because they are not tied to the ‘traditional sitting position’.

    ‘The desks are allowing children the flexibility to learn how they want to.

    ‘We have children in school who learn better and have improved concentration levels when they are active’she said.

    After being dropped last year, the government have brought back their pledge to cut childhood obesity in half by 2026.

    Health chiefs have also suggested that kids should be banned from eating chocolate bars and instead swap them for snacks like plain rice cakes, sugar-free jelly and fromage frais.

    To help make the change happen, parents can get money-off vouchers from Change4Life to help them and their kids to try healthier snack options, plus money off toothbrushes to help fight tooth decay.