With more kids spending time indoors rather than outdoors, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. There’s a new report that says health experts are worried about this generation of children and their lack of daily exercise. Apparently, more and more kids are spending their free time in front of their electronic devices than outside at playgrounds or with their friends.
According to a new study by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, about 49 percent of children are not active enough throughout the week, while about 5 percent of kids have no physical activity at all. Researchers in the study say that children should be meeting a goal of about 60 minutes of physical activity a day or 420 minutes of activity per week. Unfortunately, it looks like there are more kids doing less, which might lead to an increase of injuries, burnout, and of course, health problems.
The team of researchers at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital are now encouraging parents to monitor their children and better yet, asking doctors to provide “exercise prescriptions” to ensure that kids remain healthy.
Ideally, kids need at least 60 minutes of some sort of physical activity a day. This can include either moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or vigorous-intensity activity, such as running, or simply playing outside with their siblings or friends.
Here’s something else to keep in mind: research shows that exercise can make your kids smarter, too. That’s because there’s an association between physical fitness and brain volume in children. In addition, a child’s cardiovascular health may also have an impact on the structure of their brains. Also, activities that build strength promote strong bones, muscles and good posture, improve the ability to lift and maneuver objects and obstacles and enhance healthy growth and development.
While it might be very tempting to stay at home and play the latest games on the hottest apps, it is actually more beneficial for your child’s health and their future if they get up and actually play real, physical games. In other words, unplug the devices parents and help your child get up and move. And better yet, move with them.