The majority of Western societies are “relaxing” the wrong way in today’s world. We work mostly sedentary jobs, sit at a desk for seven to eight hours daily, spend our lives on smart phones or other devices, eat for convenience, care for family and pets, and when we get time to ourselves we are too tired to do anything but sit on the couch and “rest”. You might not acknowledge it, but it rubs off on your kids, too.
Besides the obvious risks you are exposing your child to when allowing him to be a “coach potato”, such as weight gain or decreasing social skills, the issues travel deeper in their innocent little bodies, having implications for physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development.
Children who are incapable to securely explore their neighborhood are denied a vital practice – the chance to test themselves socially, mentally and physically in minor everyday circumstances that will prepare them for the real world. Don’t you remember how much fun we used to have as kids playing dress-up and pretending to be doctors, lawyers or astronauts?
Another factor which promotes sedentary lifestyles of children may be the decline in chances for them to move independently by foot or by bicycle in the communities where they live. This can be part your fault, maybe your kid is used to going anywhere by car, cab or public transportation and though this might be sometimes the case, you need to allow them to develop their body’s musculature. Add simple, routine childhood activities to their everyday life, make them go outside and, maybe, just for a few hours stop them from being hooked up on the Internet.
A recent study found that children with ages from nine to ten who spend 75% of their time engaging in inactive doings, such as watching TV or using a computer, are up to nine times more likely to display poor motor coordination than more active children in the same age range. Excessive sedentary behavior has been also associated with cardiometabolic disease risk, this exposes them to conditions such as obesity or heart failure. A horrifying percentage of 89% of children aged between four and five years are known to spend more than 4 hours watching TV, videos or DVDs every day.
Childhood is the key period in a person’s life, it’s the time where they develop essential skills for their health, well-being and personality overall. Don’t take the easy way out just because technology is luring you in.