WEST ATTICA PROGRAM
PREVENTION AND PROMOTION OF HEALTH FOR WEST ATTICA PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS AGED 8-12
The «Prevention and Promotion of Health program for West Attica Primary School Students» is an innovative act of the Sports Excellence Centre of the 1st Orthopaedic Department of the General University Hospital «ATTICON», whose aim is the holistic approach of prevention and cure of obesity, lack of exercise and the annotation of the spinal cord for students aged 8-12. Having obtained the approval from the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the pilot participation of 11 primary schools was scheduled from the Municipalities of Aspropirgos, Ano Liosia and Zefiri. The aim of this program is the promotion of health in the schools through information, education as well as appropriate interventions not only to the students but to the family and school environment in which students spent most of their daytime.
More specifically, the program is orientated mainly around the current youth scourge, children’s obesity. It is proven that 1 in 5 children in Greece is obese, while the relation between child obesity with future cardio-metabolic flaws is real. Child obesity is a hazardous factor which prepares the ground for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases that develop in the contemporary adult life.
In addition, the initial appearance of musculoskeletal malfunctions that appear at a young age, cause great encumbrance in adult life. In particular, the implications on the spinal cord, which start silently at those ages and with the time passing they establish a bad quality of life to around 40% of the population, inhibit their productivity to an important extent.
Therefore, the program was designed so that initially the physical state of the students would be evaluated through the weighted tool of evaluation ALPHA (Assessing Level of Physical Activity). Fit and based on the results, an individual intervention would be implemented both to the students and to their parents in corporation with the 3rd Paediatric Clinic of the General University Hospital «ATTIKON», aiming to improve the nutritional habits and changing attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle and of course the adoption of daily physical exercise.
The team of the Sports Excellence Center has currently evaluated the physical condition of 399 students from four primary schools (1st Primary School of Aspropyrgos, 1st and 4th Primary School of Zephyri and 6th Primary School of Ano Liosia). The innovation of the prevention program lies in the fact that the results of the evaluations are not only reflected in scientific announcements and publications but are used for individualized clinical control, recording the effect of the intervention, and evaluating the effectiveness of the program.