Why Children Need to Be Active and 3 Ways You Can Help
Have you ever stopped
to look at children playing? For so many they can’t say they do,
because it’s not something they see often. Do you remember when you were
younger? You didn’t have as many distractions and even with video games
and television you were encouraged to play outside more.
It’s not that
children are completely absorbed by their responsibilities at school or
at home, it’s that they’ve been captivated by all the new and upcoming
forms of entertainment. Consoles where you spent hours playing your
favorite video games have shifted to mobile devices and are joined by
hours of texting, talking, tweeting on phones and other devices. It’s
common to see children glued to these devices, but there’s more going on
here than meets the eye.
What’s also shocking
is the increase in metabolic diseases, obesity, and overall weight
related issues in children all across America. Would you believe that
one in five American children are obese? That doesn’t include those who
are overweight, just obese. The number of children who have been
diagnosed with obesity has tripled since the early 1970s.
There’s also been a
rise in posture related issues. Text-neck, lower back pain, and forward
head posture, are also health related concerns that children have to
deal with these days. Can you imagine a child with their head jutted
forward and one day needing surgery to correct their body alignment?
It’s unsettling and shouldn’t be happening.
Who do we blame for
our children suffering from these issues? Could it be the education
system, the school system, or their parents? And why aren’t kids as
active as they were before? The answers are multilayered and complex,
but many would agree that the abuse of technology and their parents play
a huge part in all this. There must be a way to shed light on these
issues and foster change or many more will suffer and they’ll grow up
having to struggle with the same problems that hounded them in their
Personal trainers and
health professionals can really make an impact and get the ball
rolling. Here are 3 ways you can begin leading the charge now:
1. Encourage adults to exercise and get active with their children
Talk about spending
time with mom and dad, wouldn’t it be great if children got outside and
exercised with their parents? There’s always room for programs and
online initiatives that encourage group activity in this area. It would
be a huge step to have more parents encouraging their children to
exercise, so why not find a way to incorporate kids into the activities?
2. Become a leader in your community and rally others
One of the best ways
to push for change is by doing it yourself. Why not become a leader in
your community? Outline the problem and the concerns, and speak to
people in your area. You may not have all the answers, you may not even
have a firm grasp of the situation, but someone else near you does. You
can also create programs and bring other professionals on board who also
share your passion.
3. Online and offline speaking engagements
Being seen and heard
is far easier now with social media, so get out there and get loud. You
can set up a blog, a group, a channel, or just post on your favorite
social media outlet about how outraged you are over this issue and how
much you want to change. You can be the beginning of the change as
others will hear and resonate with you and may be willing to step out
with you to do something about it.
As I stated before,
the answers are complex, but they’re there if you’re willing and open to
find them. The rise in technology and online distractions, the
reduction in recreational activities and exercise, the increase in
unhealthy food options, and so much more are all part of the problem.
While my 3 options above merely scratched the surface, I’m sure you can
come up with so much more.
Our friends at the Educational Fitness Solutions have an Online School Nutrition and Wellness program that will teach you how to develop healthy food programs and
strategies for children. You’ll be able to lead the discussion and
present better solutions on the topic at hand.
Check out the program here >>