Dr. Matthew Smiley from Advocate Children’s Hospital shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper that we often think of not having enough time to exercise as an adult problem, but new research shows that children are affected by this issue as well.
A recent report from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance stated that physical inactivity levels in children around the globe have reached crisis levels and showed that children worldwide are not active enough to maintain healthy growth and development.
The findings in this report might surprise some, but these trends are not new. It is well documented that a sedentary lifestyle and decreased rates of physical activity are increasingly common in the United States, and not surprisingly, around the globe.
A sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous, as it is associated with higher rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and shortened life span. It’s necessary to teach children the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle at an early age.
Many factors contribute to an increase in sedentary lifestyles, including a lack of resources and access to opportunities to participate in physical activities and the number of time children spends with screens.
Ideally, children should engage in no more than two hours per day of recreational screen time. To help children adhere to this rule, parents need to proactively think about how they’re going to regulate screen time. Small behavior modifications like keeping screens out of the bedroom, away from the dinner table, setting time limits on tablet and video game usage, and unplugging for a day as a family can go a long way in helping kids find activities to do sans technology — exercise being one of them. Read more