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Why Children Need to Sit Less & Play More

The importance of why children need to be doing more physical activity

In today's fast-paced world, children are becoming increasingly inactive and less physically active. This is a concerning trend because it can lead to a range of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as negatively affecting their mental health. In this post, we will discuss the benefits of physical activity for children and ways to encourage them to be more active.

WHO Says What?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children need to sit less and play more. Physical activity helps children develop strong, healthy bodies and improves their coordination, balance, and overall fitness levels. Regular exercise also has a positive effect on their mental health, helping them concentrate better and boosting their self-esteem. Moreover, quality sedentary time spent in interactive non-screen-based activities with a caregiver, such as reading, storytelling, singing, and puzzles, is vital for child development.

It's Up To You

As a parent or caregiver, it's essential to set a good example for your children. Take a walk together, ride bikes, or play games like hide and seek or catch. Encourage your children to participate in after-school activities and sports like dancing, soccer, or martial arts. Bond with them in the kitchen by getting them to help with dinner and washing the dishes or planning a meal together. Remember, getting dirty can be fun, and a mess can always be cleaned up.

"What we need to do is bring back play for children. This is about making the shift from sedentary time to playtime while protecting sleep." - Dr Juana Willumsen, WHO focal point for childhood obesity and physical activity

Just Have Fun

Physical activity doesn't have to be boring or structured. Children are more likely to be active if they're having fun. Encourage them to use their imagination and explore the world around them. Activities like climbing trees, riding bikes, playing catch, hopscotch, or just running in the backyard are all simple yet fun activities for kids to stay active. You can even draw hopscotch with chalk in your driveway or create an obstacle course in your backyard.

Bring Back the Good Ol' Times

Children should be encouraged to sit less and play more. Parents, teachers, and caregivers can provide opportunities for children to be more active and set a good example for themselves. Encouraging movement and play-based activities is essential for children's well-being, both physically and mentally. Let's bring back playtime for children and make the shift from sedentary time to active time while also protecting their sleep.

In Conclusion...

Physical activity is vital for children's health and well-being, and we need to encourage them to be more active. By providing opportunities for play and setting a good example ourselves, we can help our children develop healthy habits that will benefit them throughout their lives. Let's make physical activity a priority for our children and bring back the joy of playtime.

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