More than 40 percent of school children in India regardless of gender are lagging on BMI index and are heading towards unhealthy future according to EduSports’ 5th Annual School Health and Fitness Study 2014.
For the study, researchers observed more than 1,15,500 children having age between 7 to 17 years in 87 schools across 85 cities from 23 states in India. The study was conducted for 2013-14 academic sessions and involved several key health parameters including anaerobic capacity, flexibility, lower and upper body strength and BMI among others.
Study revealed some alarming facts; our young generation is far behind on the fitness scale. Against the belief, girls were found to be healthier than boys as 65 percent of observed girls had healthy BMI index compared to mere 59 percent of boys who were able to pass the healthy BMI index benchmark. However, girls did not perform well in other department suggesting that girls are still lagging in overall fitness in India.
On geographical comparison, East region was found to be most healthy with 54 percent surpassing the healthy BMI index threshold followed by South (38 percent), Central (37 percent), North (37 percent) and West (36 percent).
Following the trends of previous years, non-metro cities and villages outscored metro cities in terms of BMI levels and fitness parameters with 64 percent non-metro cities children on healthy BMI index against 61 percent children living in metros. Not only that, non-metros demonstrated better flexibility with 75 percent against 70 percent in metros.
Moreover, the study revealed that physical activities and sports in school is vital to better fitness and it should be given equal importance with study.
Speaking on the 5th edition of the study, Saumil Majmudar, CEO and Co-founder of EduSports said. “The lack of health and fitness among such a large number of children yet again proves that physical activity/sports in schools should be viewed as an important part of the curriculum for the overall development of a child. There is a need for greater awareness about the importance of play, and there must be more time allotted for the same. In the next year, we hope to see far better results.