Less sitting, less screen time, more playing and more sleep - it’s just what the doctor prescribed according to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Stats show, over 23% of adults and 80% of adolescents are not sufficiently physically active. And when we teach our kids healthy physical activity, playtime behavior, and sleep patterns early in life, it helps shape habits through childhood, teenage years and into adulthood.
Kids must spend less time sitting watching screens, restrained in strollers and seats, get better quality sleep and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy. These recommendations will help improve your child’s mental and physical health, prevent weight gain as well as associated diseases later in life.
Although the stats are alarming how can we make sure kids can be more active? Give them a routine, at RABJJ we have classes for Kids and Teens 5 days a week as do many schools and where we differ from school sports is we don’t have seasons, no one sits on the bench and unless there is a blizzard and we can’t get on the road, we are not affected by weather: year-round practice!
Here are some practical ways to make kids' screen time more productive:
- Keep TVs, iPads, and other screens out of kids' bedrooms.
- Turn off all screens during meals.
- Don't allow your child to watch TV while doing homework.
- Treat screen time as a privilege that kids need to earn, not a right that they're entitled to. Tell them that screen time is allowed only after chores and homework are completed.
- Try a weekday ban. Schoolwork, sports activities, and job responsibilities make it tough to find extra family time during the week. Record shows or save video games for weekends, and you'll have more family togetherness time to spend on meals, games, and physical activity during the week.
- Set a good example. Limit your own screen time.
- Check the TV listings and program reviews. Look for programs your family can watch together (like developmentally appropriate and nonviolent programs that reinforce your family's values). Choose shows that foster interest and learning in hobbies and education (reading, science, etc.).
- Preview programs. Make sure you think they're appropriate before your kids watch them.
- Come up with a family TV schedule. Make it something the entire family agrees on. Then post the schedule in a visible household area (like on the refrigerator) so that everyone knows which programs are OK to watch and when. And make sure to turn off the TV when the "scheduled" program is over instead of channel surfing for something else to watch.
For the full WHO report head here: WHO Report
And for more info on our Kids and Teen classes