The COVID-19 Pandemic – What it means for our children





The one thing I think we can all agree on.

The new normal isn’t very normal at all.

Adults and children are having noticeably less active lifestyles.  The NHS in the UK recommends that children and young people should exercise at a moderately intense level for at least 60 minutes per week.  This means that you should get your heart rate raised for *at least* 60 minutes per week.

I think it can be said, without much push back, that a lot of us have fallen into more sedentary lifestyles and poor behaviours around exercise and eating.

” The new normal isn’t very normal at all.”

For children this could be critical as during these formative years this behaviour could become entrenched leading to all sorts of problems later in life.

The closure of facilities and the lockdown of sports meant that a lot of us lost our cornerstone of regularity and structure around exercise.  That combined with Schools closing meant that many children simply didn’t get the same access to sport and play and generally increased activity levels throughout each day – even active play can count greatly towards that goal of being moderately active each day.


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“You will not be alone if you answered negatively to any of the questions posed.”

Lets reflect on some personal behaviours. 

From the start of the pandemic:


  1. How much has your screen time increased?
  2. Have your activity levels increased or decreased?
  3. Have your eating behaviours changed?
  4. Have you put on weight?
  5. Are you being more sedentary?
  6. Did you have to stop organised physical activity and did you manage to replace it with any other structured activity?

You will not be alone if you answered negatively to any of the questions posed. 

Sports clubs and other organisers of physical activity have had to get creative and offer Zoom classes, outdoor classes, controlled return to their sport and often alternative activities while they wait on being able to fully get back.  There were successes.  While it is definitely more of a burden on the parents to make sure their children get the best out of digital classes – those that did have said they have got more interested in the details of the sport by doing so.  Digital classes also allowed for highly focussed feedback as the coach could pay attention to specific individuals without worrying about other aspects of class management. 

Destination Judo and other clubs in Scotland did Distance Grading – who would have even thought that was possible and we saw an excellent effort from those that took part

” The formative years are extremely important when it comes to engagement, long term behaviour traits and good health outcomes as adults.”

Even with these efforts across the whole spectrum of sport and leisure it is easy to see that engagement has fallen considerably.  Studies have shown less than 30% (and sometimes considerably less) of those that attended physical activities prior to COVID-19 engaged regularly in digital or streaming based classes during COVID-19.

 The formative years are extremely important when it comes to engagement, long term behaviour traits and good health outcomes as adults.


While digital delivery will continue to be important, we must do what we can to encourage organised physical activity: at home, at school, and in the local community.  Leaving 70% of those behind who have not tried to return to physical activity yet will lead to permanent changes in behaviour in our children – not for the better!

We are determined that this pandemic will not be associated with failure!

We all have a responsibility to make sure our children stay active and healthy and to encourage them to participate in sports

So as parents, as educators, as civil servants: we all have to step up and make sure our children succeed in spite of this pandemic.


At Destination Judo we are offering the following incentives *NOW* to try and break the cycle:

  • Bring a Buddy
  • New Suit Day for New Members
  • No barriers – if you are anxious at all get in touch and we can have a chat.


Being Judo fit is the best type of fitness – it promotes all around body strength and conditioning and is one of the recommended ways to stay active (suggested by NHS).

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