The latest results of the KiGGS study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany show that only 23% of girls and 30% of boys between the ages of seven and ten achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations of at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. According to current statistics, in particular children with a low social status have lower levels of leisure-time physical activity. Lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet and obesity are important risk factors for the development of lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In this context, the initiative "SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." is seeking by means of targeted measures to inspire children at an early age to eat a balanced diet and exercise more.
"For many years now, the SMS initiative has been committed to fostering a healthy upbringing in Düsseldorf, thereby making an important contribution to health promotion and health education for children. The exercise cards give the children additional ideas for active leisure activities, which can further consolidate a healthy lifestyle," said Thomas Geisel, mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf and patron of the SMS initiative as well as the event on October 30 for the presentation of the exercise cards.
Project leader Professor Karsten Müssig added: "It is a great pleasure for us to be able to present the exercise cards "Fun Exercise with PFIFF" to the pupils of the SMS initiative after the children's cookbook "Cooking with PFIFF". These additional formats offer us an opportunity to raise children’s awareness of the importance of exercise and a balanced, conscious diet in their leisure time and at home and thus to communicate the goals of the SMS initiative outside of school.“
The exercise cards are intended to show the participating primary school pupils of the SMS initiative the wide range of exercise games and forms and to inspire them to include more physical activity in their everyday lives. The game suggestions have been chosen so that they can be implemented with just a few materials or household items and in an appropriate time frame. The cards also include both group and individual games, which can be played during the children’s free time without any other players. The table tennis club Borussia Düsseldorf and the advanced training course in motor skills of the Präha Weber school supported the SMS initiative with the selection of the game suggestions and contributed own table tennis and coordination exercises.
"For us, it is very important to kindle children’s enthusiasm for sports starting at an early age. The attractive design of the exercise cards and the many picture motifs make the exercises lots of fun, which should always be in the foreground in all games and sports," said Andreas Preuß, manager of Borussia Düsseldorf, explaining the club‘s commitment.
The initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." led by Professor Karsten Müssig at Düsseldorf primary schools seeks to counteract overweight/obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases in childhood and adolescence. The SMS initiative is supported by the association Düsseldorfer Kids mit PFIFF e.V. and scientifically accompanied by the German Diabetes Center (DDZ). The two health insurance companies IKK classic and KKH, the organization diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid, the Sports Department of Düsseldorf and other renowned partners and prominent people support the project and provide the participating school children with additional attractive venues for learning outside of school. The patron of the initiative is Thomas Geisel, mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf. The SMS initiative was awarded the support logo of IN FORM, Germany’s initiative to promote healthy diets and physical activity, and the GUT DRAUF label of the German Center for Health Education (BZgA) and was accepted as an exemplary project and member of the state initiative "Healthy North Rhine-Westphalia".
For more information, see: www.sms-mach-mit.de