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Oz school kids told 'to stand up in class' to beat obesity epidemic

By Abdul Nisar

Melbourne, Sept 7 (ANI): Victorian schools are introducing some radical measures to beat childhood obesity.

More activity breaks in between classes is one idea.

"We are modifying academic lessons to get them moving more. Sitting all day long isn't normal for kids," the Herald Sun quoted Prof Jo Salmon as saying.

They are even assigning homework tasks such as going for a walk with mum and dad, and are being urged to reduce their time in front of the TV.

The Education Department and Deakin University have taken the initiative.

"It's not about being a TV Nazi, but resetting and changing some habits such as kids watching whatever is on TV rather than actively choosing programs they want to watch," Salmon added.

Children are given four 30-minute TV tokens each day and if they attempt to watch more, the TV turns off using smart card technology.

Salmon said the school-based program, involving standing-up lessons, "was not about kids running amok in class, but getting them moving instead of sitting during the day".

Angela Conway, policy consultant from Pro-family Perspectives, said she liked the idea of kids standing in some classes.

"It's good to educate and encourage, but schools should not prescribe what families do in private," she cautioned. (ANI)

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