German schoolchildren are spending 12 hours per day sitting
DAK-Gesundheit, a German health insurance provider, has found that two-thirds of school-age children are not moving enough every day.
Children in Germany should be doing more daily exercise
According to the company, children between grades 5 and 10 in German schools are sitting for an average of 12 hours per day. DAK also reported that during the pandemic more than one in three children said that they did less sport than before. In 2021, a report by a different health insurer, DKV, also cited the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for German adults' reduced movement.
The German government recommends that children and teenagers should do 90 minutes of moderate to intensive exercise every day. 60 minutes of this recommended exercise time can be carried out with everyday activities such as walking to school, running in the playground or going up stairs. The rest of the time should be used to do more intensive sport activities. Less than 90 minutes of physical activity per day is considered inadequate for children.
Pandemic sport facility closures led to further inequality among children
DAK reported that before the coronavirus pandemic, only 35 percent of youngsters included in the survey were doing sufficient regular exercise. At the beginning of the pandemic, when access to sporting activities was curtailed, this dropped to 29 percent. Currently, only 32 percent of children who answered the survey are considered to be doing enough physical activity.
While all children were unable to access public sports facilities during the pandemic lockdowns, children from economically disadvantaged families were the most affected by restrictions when it comes to the impact on their daily movement. Before the coronavirus pandemic only 27 percent of said children were moving enough each day, and during the pandemic the proportion dropped to 22 percent.