Every time a child spends more than a few hours in front of a TV, iPad or some other electronic device, a unicorn sheds a tear. More importantly (no offense to unicorns or other mystical creatures), a child’s developmental growth is negatively affected.
According to findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, “physical inactivity is associated with various health risks for children, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even lower psychological well-being. In addition to increased health risks, physical inactivity may have harmful effects on children’s cognitive function and academic achievement.”
Kids are naturally active, but the allure of bright, candy colored screens and fun, gaming sounds can make it very easy for a child to choose to sit and play over going outside and being active. It’s equally as easy for parents and other adults to allow the children in their lives to spend too much time in front of these electronic devices.
Like ice-cream flavors, there is an activity that fits every child’s personality and level of activity. Getting your child involved in sports or group activities is a great way to not only increase their physical activity, but, also their social development. They can make friends and learn how to work in team settings.
Just about anything is a good option for keeping children active: going for a walk, riding a bicycle, walking the family dog, playing tag or hide-n-seek with siblings or friends – to name a few.
Like most things involving children, they learn by example. Aside from the positive benefits of being physically active for adults, the involvement of parents in physical activity can increase a child’s participation.
TV, gaming consoles and devices aren’t all terrible when used in moderation. With the introduction of Xbox Kinect and games like Just Dance, kids can keep active even with the help of TV and electronics.
There are so many way to remain active. Hopefully this post encourages children and adults to lead a more balanced and healthy life.
For more information and tips on keeping active, click here.