Premier Education

Active Bodies, Healthy Minds: Our Perspective on World Health Day

With so many events on the calendar to remember, it can be hard to keep up. But World Health Day is one that is particularly close to our hearts, acting as a great opportunity to think about health with our children.

What is the meaning of World Health Day?

Celebrated annually on 7 April, World Health Day aims to raise awareness, support health workers and motivate action on the importance of universal health coverage and improving public health by drawing attention to key health challenges.

Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) orchestrates World Health Day, bringing together communities and organisations worldwide to collectively pursue sustainable development goals vital for protecting health globally. This occasion is also a moment to recognise and celebrate successes in public health initiatives.

What is the slogan for World Mental Health Day?

Year on year, World Health Day’s message is simple: give more people access to primary health care without the prospect of financial hardship, regardless of what part of the world they’re from.

To address these types of challenges, the theme for World Health Day 2024 is ‘My health, my right’.

The theme was selected to advocate for the universal entitlement of individuals, regardless of their location, to access health services, education, and information. Additionally, it aims to highlight the significance of ensuring universal access to essentials such as safe drinking water, clean air, nutritious food, better housing, satisfactory working conditions, a healthy environment, and freedom from discrimination.

What were the past themes for World Health Day?

World Health Day highlights many important health issues from a specific disease such as diabetes or polio, to bigger themes such as the effects of climate change on road safety. Let’s take a look at the themes and topics World Health Day has explored over the past ten years.

  • 2023 – Health for all
  • 2022 – Our Planet, our health
  • 2021 – Building a fairer, healthier world
  • 2020 – Support Nurses and Midwives
  • 2019 – Health for all: everyone, everywhere
  • 2018 – Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere
  • 2017 – Depression: let’s talk
  • 2016 – Beat diabetes
  • 2015 – Food safety
  • 2014 – Vector-borne diseases
World Health Day is celebrated annually and is great at raising awareness of health challenges all over the world.

How to support healthy habits in kids

Primary schools have the unique opportunity to teach young children life skills that will support their development in the future.

Building better habits will make us all feel good inside and out! Healthy habits don’t need to be boring or feel like a chore. It is all about sneaky little things you can do every day to make a big difference to your mind and your body.

Celebrating World Health Day at school not only gives you the chance to educate young people on public health around the world, but get them to think about the consequences of taking care of their own health. For example, reducing risk of illness and removing the subsequent strain on hospitals.

The Golden Mile

A fun and easy way for schools to celebrate World Health Day and encourage pupils to stay active and in good health is to participate in The Golden Mile.

But what is The Golden Mile? The objective is simple really – it’s an initiative that encourages children to walk, jog or run up to a mile every day.

Schools can help their pupils to achieve this goal by building in opportunities to reach their mile throughout the day. The great thing about the programme is that the activity is accessible to all ages regardless of ability and focuses on personal achievement.

This programme is also perfectly aligned to tackle obesity as part of the government’s childhood obesity action plan.

And, with guidance and support by us here at Premier Education, the scheme requires very little input from schools as sessions can be held by Premier Education’s expert coaches within the safety of the school gates, either in-school hours or as an extracurricular activity.

Some further ideas for getting active at school can be found here.

Events such as the Golden Mile can help keep children active and healthy at school.

Keep active after school

Boosting your pupils’ activity levels doesn’t always have to culminate in moving a mile a day though. Children are more likely to thrive and develop long-term healthy habits when doing something they love, and an after-school club is the perfect time to experiment with different sports and activities.

With our before-school, lunchtime and after-school clubs, there’s no shortage of opportunities for pupils to get active and boost valuable characteristics like self-belief and determination that will help them in and out of the classroom.

With every session, experienced coaches guide children of all interests and abilities to find an activity that makes keeping active fun!

Offering a variety of fun after school clubs mean children will have plenty of opportunity to move.

Deliver a varied PE curriculum

PE lessons provide a key opportunity in your pupils’ weeks to stay active, whole sessions where students can focus just on moving their bodies and learning the skills that come with it.

With a high-quality PE curriculum designed to provide a range of opportunities to support development in being creative, confident, and caring, you can set your students up for success from the outset. 

Our curricular PESSPA sessions are tailored to the school, its environment, values and focuses. We provide a supporting role to teachers to ensure their PE lessons result in the best possible outcomes for every child. Read more advice on curricular success here.

Encourage active transportation

Implementing initiatives such as designated bike lanes, walking groups, and bike-to-school programmes can be a great way to foster a culture of physical activity and celebrate World Health Day.

Introducing educational campaigns on the benefits of walking or cycling not only reduces your carbon footprint but also improves cardiovascular health and mental wellbeing.

Providing incentives like rewards or recognition can motivate students to achieve health through active transportation.

By integrating these strategies into the school ethos, teachers can instil lifelong habits of physical fitness and environmental consciousness among students.

Even by cycling to school a few times a week can have a big impact on kids' health.

Resources to help make physical activity a priority

The good news is, when it comes to helping youngsters to build a healthy lifestyle, there’s plenty of help available that extends beyond World Health Day.

Educating and activating children is a pillar of what we do, so on top of our curricular and extra-curricular offerings, we have plenty of free resources that can help you to make physical activity a priority for your pupils.