We’ve all seen the headlines: rates of childhood obesity rising dramatically around the world; children, stuck to their personal devices and computer games, becoming increasingly and worryingly sedentary; and in-school, young people disengaging from traditional PE and sports lessons.
The need to get children more active has never been greater, yet the challenge to engage them in activity never tougher. Indeed, new research from WHO shows that four in five 11- to 17-year-olds are not taking enough exercise.
This, as UK physical activity trade body worryingly calls it, is Generation Inactive.
But there are solutions at our disposal that have yet to be fully explored, not least the potential to channel children’s interest in technology for less sedentary purposes. Just think of the huge impact Pokémon GO had when it hit the scene a few years ago.
With an already proven track record in using world-class tech to get more people active – as evidenced at 4,000 partner sites across 50+ countries, from fitness and hospitality to corporates and multi-family housing – Wexer is one of the world’s leading experts in digital content delivery. And it is now turning its attention to education.
So, what could this mean for your school or educational institution?
Engaging all age groups
Let’s first talk about the solutions that will be at schools’ disposal, starting with on-site virtual fitness classes through Wexer Virtual – over 1,500 classes, all led by the world’s top instructors, to ensure there’s something for everyone, whatever their interests or fitness level.
Got a group of 16-year-old girls who simply don’t engage in school sport? How about offering them the alternative of a Zumba class, or letting them choose their own class from Wexer’s on-demand library?
Want to find a fun activity to do with a younger group of children, but don’t have the expertise to create something suitable? No problem, as Wexer’s extensive library of classes includes collections specifically designed for children.
Keen to open your doors to the wider community, but not able to provide live instructor-led classes? Wexer allows you to put together a full class schedule to meet the specific needs of your local community, from the uber-fit (think high-intensity circuits and Six Pack Abs) to the older generations (mind-body and meditation) and everyone in between.
Then there’s the Wexer Web Player, a password-protected, white label web portal that allows people to stream their choice of hundreds of world-beating virtual classes – any time, anywhere, to any internet-enabled device. Giving this tool to students will not only mean they have options to stay active out of school and during holidays, whatever the weather, but it also means their families have access to this wonderful resource too – something they can all do together, and that parents can encourage their children to do. Plus, with so many parents blaming their own lack of activity on family-related time pressures, putting fitness in their pockets might just be the solution they need to stay active and healthy too.
Creating healthy schools – and communities
There’s so much to say about the topic of activity and education – we’ll be blogging on that in a more detailed series, coming soon – but for now, allow us to end by rounding up the key benefits we believe can result from introducing Wexer into a school environment:
1) School benefits
– Activate under-utilised space
– Make teachers’ lives easier by providing high quality, ready-to-use activity content
– Offer exercise options before school, during breaks, as lesson replacements, after school hours, and during evenings/weekends/holidays
– Increase and improve parental engagement, by providing tools they can also use
– Become a hub of your community, with appealing activity solutions for all
– Understand students’ interests; data tracking shows what classes have been played, how frequently, by whom
– Protect the long-term health and wellbeing of children
2) Teacher benefits
– Help all students exceed daily activity guidelines
– Ensure students are switched on and ready to learn; extensive research shows how being active improves students’ focus and academic performance
– Materials/classes available to support lesson delivery
– World-leading instructors available at all times to deliver activities teachers may not be qualified to teach
– Content mapped to educational outcomes
– Diverse use of digital learning – pupils can record their own fitness classes
– Narrow the attainment gap by creating the best conditions for all students to flourish and thrive
3) Pupil benefits
– Improved grades thanks to being more active
– Inclusive and immersive digital learning through technology
– Fun and motivational activity options – makes physical activity feel more like play
– Personalised experiences
– Engaging content from world-class trainers and content suppliers, far beyond the normal realms of school sport
– Diversity/variety of programmes – something for all interests
– Benefit from the transformative power of physical activity, for both physical and mental wellbeing
4) Community benefits
– Schools transformed into community assets
– Intergenerational benefits – opportunity for grandparents, parents and kids to be physically active together or separately
– Schools become part of the solution to address the isolation crisis
– Family bonding – work out together, both at school and at home
– Parents can work out at home while the kids are at school
– Allows every child to have a healthy summer
– Cost-effective, at-home digital solution stops disadvantaged kids/families getting left behind
Find out more about how Wexer could help transform your school into a new health hub for the community by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org