A couple of statistics around the increasing inactivity of Australia’s youth were presented to some of our coaches recently at a Football NSW workshop that we found rather alarming.
In an age increasingly dominated by technology and convenience, the low levels of physical inactivity among teenagers in Australia and New Zealand have reached unprecedented heights with Australia ranked 140th out of 146 countries for physical activity levels. The underlying studies are from 2019 however they unveil a stark reality that is very much relevant — Australian teenagers rank among the most inactive in the world.
The Guardian report on this study explores sedentary lifestyles that can have severe implications for both physical and mental well-being.
The Conversation‘s study asks how we arrived to this point, and what can be done to reverse this trend.
One of the key solutions lies in promoting sports and physical activities and football has the opportunity to be a powerful catalyst for change, largely because of its ability to be played in various formats by players of different ages, skills and fitness levels. The benefits of engaging in sports like football go beyond just physical fitness; they contribute to the development of essential life skills including teamwork, discipline and resilience and of course the development of important social skills.
Football, in particular, has the unique ability to bring people and communities together and provide a platform for youth participation and engagement. As we struggle with the issue of physical inactivity, investing in facilities and creating opportunities for young individuals to engage in sports becomes crucial to encourage youth to join and remain in sport to support healthy lifestyles.
Upgrades to sports fields, like the planned improvements to the North Turramurra Recreation Area, are essential components of this strategy. Such facilities create more inviting spaces for physical activity, both on and off the playing field. By investing in such infrastructure, we are investing in the health and well-being of the next generation.
It’s time for a collective effort to #KickTheHabit of physical inactivity. By using football to foster a culture that values and promotes physical well-being, we can empower our younger generation to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. Let’s tackle this and celebrates the joy of exercise through football, the World Game, and harness the power of sport to break the cycle of sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles.