Every child should have an annual fitness test as part of a drive to make the nation more active and healthy, England’s top doctor has said.
Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, has recommended that all children should undergo a “beep test”, a series of timed shuttle runs which can be used to measure stamina and fitness.
The checks could reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, keep weight in check and improve mental health, he said.
Officials acknowledge that a national programme could be expensive and risk stigmatising overweight children or those who are not good at sport.
Sir Liam also referred to a programme of fitness assessment and reporting which is already running successfully in several US states including New York, California, Delaware and Texas. This was later confirmed to be Fitnessgram published by Human Kinetics.