Fact Centre

Dangers of Physical Inactivity

  • Research has shown that lack of physical activity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other conditions that increase the chances of premature death. Risks of physical inactivity include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, obesity and even certain cancers.
  • Lack of physical activity also contributes to feelings of depression and anxiety.

(Source: The Johns Hopkins University)

Physical Inactivity is a Major Cause of Obesity

The prevalence of obesity among school-aged children in India is between 5.74% and 8.82%. (Source: Misra, A. and Gulati, Nutrition Research Group National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC) & Center for Nutrition & Metabolic Research (C-NET)) Obesity in childhood and adolescence has been found to be associated with an increase in mortality in adulthood. “A relatively large and fairly consistent body of evidence now demonstrates that overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence have adverse consequences on premature mortality and physical morbidity in adulthood.” (Source: Reilly JJ and Kelly J, 2011, International Journal of Obesity)

An Active Mind Can Only Reside In An Active Body

Research by the Physical Activity Council, USA, has shown that children with no Physical Education (PE) are two times more likely to become sedentary (no physical activity) in life. Children with PE are more likely to be active even outside of school. UNICEF has identified play and sport as crucial components of quality education and that these are consistent with the rights of a child to optimum development.

Children in India have little or no physical education (PE). The average PT (physical training) time in any PT class in India is 6 to 7 minutes only!
Active children are stronger and have better mental function. The figure here shows brain functioning after only 20 minutes of walking! It is observed that the brain has lesser inactive zones (shown in blue) after performing the physical activity.

Active children are stronger and have a better mental function. The figure here shows brain functioning after only 20 minutes of walking! It is observed that the brain has lesser inactive zones (shown in blue) after performing the physical activity.Studies reported by the Physical Activity Council, USA, have drawn a strong correlation between higher fitness scores and higher academic scores, implying that Better Fitness = Better Academic Performance.

Run, Jump, Learn! How Exercise can Transform our Schools

While exercising is good for the body, Dr. John J. Ratey, MD, argues it is more important for the brain, especially when it comes to students in the classroom. Citing scientific studies and real-world examples, this internationally recognized expert in the brain-exercise connection demonstrates how we can raise test scores, lower behavioural problems, and help the overall well-being of today’s students with fitness-based physical education.

Want Smarter, Healthier Kids? Try Physical Education!

Quality, daily physical education in schools not only reduces obesity amongst our children, but it improves academic performance. With more than 40 years in the field of education, Zientarski has created a highly successful program called the Learning Readiness Physical Education (LRPE) program at Naperville Central High School. The program has produced such dramatic improvements in test scores, behaviour and childhood obesity that it has inspired adoption in school districts from across the country and around the world, including Denmark, China, South Korea and Canada. His program has been highlighted on major TV networks and featured in documentary films. Zientarski shares his educational philosophy and programs with audiences nationwide, including the President’s Council on Health, Fitness and Nutrition in Washington, D.C.

Obama: We’ll Work on ‘Issue of Obesity’ in India (Where 30.7% of Children Under 5 Are Underweight)


Indian Kids Are Turning Obese At An Alarming Rate (National Childhood Obesity Week)

“Our children are getting fatter with every passing year. Around 2 percent of urban Indian kids are obese, 8-10 percent of them are overweight, and the number of children being a victim of obesity is growing. One thing we can say is that – “Child Obesity in India on the Rise”