Pedal machines introduced in Suffolk school to fight obesity

Jack Woodfield
Fri, 05 Oct 2018
Pedal machines introduced in Suffolk school to fight obesity
A Suffolk school has committed to fighting obesity among its students by introducing pedal machines under their desks.

The equipment - which is not compulsory for pupils of Red Oak Primary in Lowestoft - can be used during lessons to help increase activity levels.

As obesity rates among children continue to rise, much is being done across the country to encourage young people to become more active and reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.

Earlier this year the government launched a sugar tax and has proposed other measures to reduce childhood obesity, including bans on junk food advertising.

In May, figures released by the Local Government Association revealed that more than 20,000 children aged 10 and 11 years are severely obese by the time they leave primary school.

Speaking to the BBC, head teacher Heather Madsen said: "This is about setting up activity levels for the rest of their lives."

So far, 30 machines have been purchased, but the school is looking to fund more, which come equipped with a display that shows how long the user has been pedalling for and how many calories have been burnt during a session. Some pupils have been burning up to 800 calories a day.

Mrs Madsen added: "It was initially a novelty and like the Tour de France here, but since then they've calmed down and some are doing it out of habit.

"We were talking about initiatives that would stimulate the children's concentration and ensure they could still stay focused on lessons."

Feedback from the students have been positive with competitiveness between students driving participation as well as children enjoying lessons more.
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