Mother Melissa Egan and her daughter Gabrielle.
Mother Melissa Egan and her daughter Gabrielle. Matty Holdsworth

Researcher asks Rocky parents: Do kids get enough exercise?

TWENTY-five percent of Australian children are overweight or obese.

Whether to do with the accessibility of computers, iPads and video games, a lack of interest in physical activity from the children or a simple laziness from parents, the figures are harrowing.

Queensland University of Technology PhD candidate Kamila Davidson is asking Rockhampton parents and health professionals to participate in her research project - assessing the weight of primary school children.

Ms Davidson said "assessing a child's weight status was the first step to addressing the problem".

She began a two-week study in Rockhampton yesterday

"There is a need for more health services in regional areas such as Rockhampton, especially for child's health and addressing overweight children," Ms Davidson said.

"We know that the number of overweight and obese children is higher in regional areas yet little is done to help understand complexities regarding addressing this health issue in these areas.

"I would like to invite Rockhampton-based health professionals who see children as a part of their professional role to share their expert opinion on this topic in either face-to-face or on the telephone interview or via an online survey."

Local mum and CQ Mumma's Markets organiser Nikki Hinder said children that do exercise were a lot better off in the long term, not just the short term.

"I don't think it's up to the schools though to obviously get their physical activity," she said.

"My daughter does swimming and other classes as well so there's a fair level of activity involved with that but that's the choice we've made and each semester she does a different activity so it's just a matter of getting her out there and not sitting in front of the TV.

"Also eating well is another thing, there are a lot of children who eat a lot of junk food and it's not necessary.

"Fruit and veggies are fantastic, not so much processed food and a lot of people do actually find that once they cut out junk food their children react differently as well."

Rockhampton mother Melissa Egan believes video games are a main contributor to the problem.

"I definitely think children should be getting more exercise," Melissa said.

"There are definitely more and more kids on computers and iPads now but there is a lot of access in Rockhampton to things like KindySports or ReadySteadyGo kids.

"So I think people just need to look for other alternatives if they can't do it at home."

Join in

The Parents' survey opens on June 20, 2016. It takes around five minutes and parents who complete it can enter the draw to win one of four $50 gift cards.

For more information, email kamila.davidson@hdr.qut.edu.au or telephone 3069 7315



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