Parents, Get Your Children Moving!
Extracted from an article on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website
Summer is approaching, so how do you keep your school aged child busy and active?
Children benefit from being physically active and involved in organized activities. Active children tend to be more confident, have a greater sense of well-being, experience better health and be less involved in risky behaviors such as tobacco and drug use. Since 1980 the number of children who are overweight has doubled.
Why Children Aren’t Moving
There are many factors contributing to sedentary (inactive) behavior. Research shows that children watch four hours of TV per day, replacing time that could be spent doing positive activities. These children tend to have greater body fat than those who watch less than two hours per day.
Many children are choosing to spend their time sitting down in front of a TV, computer or video game, rather than outside playing with friends and family.
How Parents Can Help?
Children can’t get moving alone. Obstacles such as access to transportation, family commitments and the need for adult supervision keep many kids from having the chance to participate in activities. Children need support from their parents to find activities that are right for them – and to make activity an important part of their daily lives.
In today’s busy world, finding time for activity can be difficult, but it’s important. Here are a few things one can do:
¾Organize a rotating schedule with friends and family that allows you all to share supervision or provide transportation to the group of children in your neighborhood
¾Ask your children what they like to do and are interested in trying
¾Help your children find programs where they can enjoy activities and spend time with youth who have similar interests
¾Participate in activities with your children and support their interests
Experts offer additional ways that parents can engage children in activity:
¾Be physically active role models
¾Set limits on the amount of time the family watches TV and plays video games
¾Don’t allow a TV in your child’s bedroom
¾Create family activities that involve physical activity such as hiking, walking or playing
with a ball
¾Volunteer to help your children’s after-school physical activity programs
¾Build activity into your daily life: walk to the corner store and take the stairs
Benefits of Activity
Participation in physical activity decreases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer.
For Summer activity ideas:
Information from an article by Janet Collins, Ph.D., Acting Director Division of Adolescent and School Health National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention