Diabetes Prevention: Inspiring Children to Be Physically Active

Düsseldorf’s largest sports club, the SFD ’75, supports the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." of the German Diabetes Center, a partner in the DZD.

Only 15% of the children and adolescents are physically active at least one hour per day, a minimum advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." would like to change this and has now received support of the SFD ’75 Düsseldorf. The sports club, which has been awarded the seal of approval for excellence as “child-friendly sports club", is already cooperating with numerous day care centers and schools and has now invited primary school children of the SMS initiative to a gymnastics training session. The basic principles of gymnastics were laid down more than 200 years ago by the German gymnastics educator Friedrich Ludwig Jahn.  Gymnastics continues to be enormously popular, even among small children. Almost more than any other kind of sport, it promotes coordination and other important functions in a child-oriented way. The participating students from the Matthias Claudius School were enthusiastic from the very first minute. After a joint warm-up program, the children completed gymnastics exercises on the floor, on the balance beam, on the rings and in an obstacle course under the guidance of the two trainers of the SFD ’75. At the end of the training session, the children were eager to participate in another gymnastics session. “Helping children to consciously eat better and healthier and to experience fun and motivation through sports is very important to us and represents a great challenge,” said SFD ´75managing director Andrea Haupt, explaining her commitment. “The physical fitness acquired in childhood provides lifelong protection against cardiovascular and metabolic disease," said project leader Professor Karsten Müssig.
“SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit.", an initiative led by Professor Müssig in Düsseldorf and Cologne primary schools, seeks to counteract overweight and obesity as well as other lifestyle-related diseases in childhood and adolescence. In the Aid Nutrition Certificate program, the participating children learn how to handle food and kitchen appliances in cooperation with the Educational Center for Dietary Assistants of the Kaiserswerther Diakonie and take part in the exercise program for primary schools “Fitness for Kids” developed by sports scientist Prof. Dr. Kerstin Ketelhut. 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.
More information about the initiative can be found at: (German only)

Primary school children and teachers of the Matthias Claudius-School with trainers of the SFD ’75. Source: SMS