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Times of India
By Sruthy Susan Ullas
25 August 2010
Bangalore, India

Study Finds Figures Look Up After 9 Mnths Of Play
42% Kids Fail BMI Test, Lack Of Exercise Blamed
So, when was the last time you checked the fitness level of your child? You may be in for a huge surprise.

A survey of students between the age of 5 and 14 years is quite an eye–opener. About 42% of 4,098 children in that age group did not have the ideal BMI (Body Mass Index)–a key indicator of overall health. Of these, 12% are overweight, 11% obese and 19% underweight.

"Sports Skills and Fitness’’ survey was conducted in 21 EduSports partnered schools in 15 cities–the National Capital Region, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore, Lucknow, Indore, Raipur, Coimbatore, Mohali, Baroda, Amritsar, Panipat and Moga. Aimed at assessing the fundamental motor skills linked to sport and health and fitness levels, it involved 2,200 boys and 1,898 girls.

Physical fitness was measured on various parameters between September 2009 and June 2010 with indicators as aerobic, anaerobic capacity, muscle strength, flexibility and body composition. The highest number of students without the ideal BMI were in the age group of 6 and 8 years. The percentage of overweight children was more in the age group of 9 and above (14%).

"Students from the urban areas are under–privileged when it comes to space for outdoor activities. There is no issue of lack of nutrition. But, the worry is lack of exercise,’’ said Saumil Majumdar, co–founder and MD, Edusports.

A survey done after letting the children play for 3–5 days every week for 9 months showed heartening results. "The percentage of fit children increased from 54.96% to 67.72%. The overall health and fitness of children between ages 5–9 years can be enhanced significantly by providing children an opportunity to play on a regular basis,’’ he said.

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