How DAK-Gesundheit with fit4future would like to have a lasting positive influence on the lifestyle of six to 12 year olds and at the same time improve the conditions for a healthy school setting
The basis for a healthy adult life is laid in primary school. Too often children spend most of the day sitting down, not just at school, but also at home in front of the computer or television. The disappearance of exercise spaces and playgrounds also contributes to the fact that the kids are no longer as active. The sad truth: Six out of ten children cannot do somersaults when they start school. The result is an increase in health problems, 15.4% of children in Germany are overweight (KiGGS 2018), more than 30% have poor coordination (cf. Children’s Commission of the German Bundestag, June 27, 2016).
In addition to a lack of exercise, there is also an unhealthy diet – often the consumption of sweets – to compensate for boredom, but also because the children usually don’t know better or something unhealthy is offered at home and at the school kiosk. Stress levels, concentration problems and behavioral problems have also increased significantly in children over the past decade (DAK study “Health trap school”, 2016).
Fit4future initiative – one of the largest prevention campaigns
As a result, the nationwide fit4future initiative was launched in 2016 , one of the largest prevention campaigns at German primary and special schools. The three-year program of the Cleven Foundation, which has existed since 2005, was supplemented and further developed together with DAK-Gesundheit and the Technical University of Munich. In addition, fit4future is scientifically evaluated on an ongoing basis. 2,000 schools with 600,000 children have meanwhile become a place of health nationwide thanks to fit4future since 2016.
Strong, healthy, and happy children learn more easily
The fit4future program takes place in elementary and special schools and focuses on the modules exercise, nutrition and brain fitness / stress management, with many practical suggestions for everyday school life. The topics are dealt with with a variety of materials tailored to the target group, but without a raised index finger. Among other things, each school receives a fit4future play bin filled with sports and play equipment. A brain fitness box offers utensils for coping with stress and improving mental performance.
The participating schools also receive professional guidance and personal support during implementation – with workshops, action days and support from regional area managers.
In addition, the “Relational Prevention” module is intended to improve the conditions for a healthy school setting. Schools can choose from six main themes: teacher health; Healthy school as a model; Network movement; healthy school meals; School as a healthy space; successful parenting work.
Continuous scientific support
The Technical University of Munich continuously evaluates and assesses the development of the students as well as the health of the teachers over the course of the three-year participation. Because not only the children themselves, but also the teachers and educational specialists should benefit from this extensive prevention program in their role model function.
Prominent support from sports ambassadors
Well-known sports stars are committed to the initiative as motivators and role models . Including ski racer Felix Neureutheras a national ambassador who justified his commitment as follows: “As a top athlete, I learned to fight. I learned through training and work to achieve goals, to educate myself and to develop. That is why I have decided to pass on all my experiences and knowledge to children and to fight a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, lack of concentration and a lack of motivation. ”But also VfB Stuttgart kicker Holger Badstuber as national ambassador for the brain fitness module and regional sports ambassador like high jumper Marie -Laurence Jungfleisch, heptathlete Carolin Schäfer, rower Hannes Ocik and canoeist Tom Liebscher are there.
DAK health as a prevention engine
DAK-Gesundheit already has a wide range of offers for prevention and health education from which tens of thousands of insured persons benefit annually, including the bonus program , the SAFARIKIDS family program and the DAK online coaching.