Joe Wicks got children moving – how to keep them active as lockdown ends

Doctoral Researcher from the Institute for Sport Business, Stan Windsor, discusses how physical education has been re-imagined during lockdown and how we can continue to keep children active in The Conversation.

When parents in the UK were suddenly forced to become teachers to their kids in lockdown, physical education (PE) was largely an afterthought. As many PE lessons are now delivered by outside professional coaches, few primary schools had the in-house experience or skills to create and suggest content to help parents.

Instead, many turned to fitness guru Joe Wicks. His PE with Joe, a 30-minute live workout streamed on YouTube every weekday at 9am, was launched almost immediately following the closure of schools across the UK.

The videos are based on Wicks’ brand of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – intense, repetitive exercises with short breaks – but are aimed at children. Exercises included star jumps and “Pikachus”, and on Fridays Wicks and his audience worked out in fancy dress.

Wicks is to be applauded for getting more children and their parents thinking about and taking part in exercise, showing them it can fit into their daily lives. But what will happen as lockdown comes to an end?

A different kind of PE

Throughout lockdown, exercise has been lauded as both a coping mechanism through the restrictions and...

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Find out more about Stan Windsor's PhD within the Institute for Sport Business.