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The condition of school-aged children. “The situation is appalling”

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The condition of children who were at school age in 2015 was several percent worse than in the 1970s. Over the last eight years, it has deteriorated by another several percent – said Agnieszka Stępień from the Rehabilitation Department of the University of Physical Education, president of the Polish Physiotherapy Association on TVN24.

– Research conducted recently, also by my university, shows that the condition of children is very bad, the situation is appalling at the moment – said dr hab. Agnieszka Stepien. – Before the covid period, there were such studies, such statistics that showed that the condition of children who were of school age, say in 2015, was several percent worse than children in the 1970s – she said. – The condition of children over the last eight years has deteriorated by (another) several percent – she added.

The president of the Polish Physiotherapy Association pointed to the period of the pandemic as one of the reasons for the decline in the condition of children in recent years COVID-19. – Before the covid period, I had the pleasure of implementing an EU program in which we examined children in such screening tests in primary schools. They were first graders. The condition of these children was not the best before covid. But this year, after a two- or three-year break, we repeated such examinations in first-graders of primary schools, and to be honest, the condition of these children after three years is significantly worse – she said.

Agnieszka StepienTVN24

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– The time of covid, which was associated with immobility, inactivity, caused a very large reduction in fitness – she added.

Stępień: the consequences will also affect state finances

Agnieszka Stępień also spoke about the consequences of such a state of affairs. – There will certainly be very large health consequences for these people (with a weaker condition – ed.), but also financial consequences for the entire country. This is due to the fact that we are all well aware that we have more and more people with health problems. We have an increasing number of dismissals related to back pain. Incorrect body positioning, reduced muscle strength – these are some of the factors that determine that certain overloads arise in our body, which lead to the destruction of certain structures in our body. As a result, in young people, these are students, these are people who are sometimes about 30 years old, we now have much more ailments and degenerative changes in the spine – she said.

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– The second important direction is the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, because they can lead to neurological disorders and diseases – she added.

Agnieszka Stępień was also asked what parents should do to take care of their children’s condition. – The easiest way is to look confidently at the guidelines of the World Health Organization. The norms given by the organization are minimal, i.e. a minimum of one hour of intense or medium-intensity exercise per day – she replied.

– Apart from going to school, moving around, walking – she noted. “These should be forms that enhance endurance, for example when we run and we’re tired,” she added.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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