Teach Kids to Be Active

Sporty Child. Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sporty Child. Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In an article on Essential Kids, “Sedentary lifestyles robbing kids of motor skills”, it mentions a landmark study that looked at NSW children. This study showed that the children are “unskilled at basic movements such as throwing, running and jumping”.

The article also stated:

“Less than half of all NSW primary school children do the recommended 60 minutes of exercise daily and this could be linked to the decline in basic movement skills.”

As a parent I am rather amazed that more time is not set aside for exercise. My girls will go to big school (primary – Kindy) in 2014 and I hope that the school puts more emphasis on physical activity. We as a family do activities that promote movement and exercise, dance, yoga, kicking the ball, throwing the ball, bush walking, swimming, running, and jumping. The girls are in the backyard with a family member and me some days and we throw and kick the ball, sometimes it is daddy sometimes it is me.

I also try to have outside time at parks, and no television and some day’s just music. However it depends entirely on the weather as living in the Blue Mountains is not great for outside time (I must say it is winter and freezing it will get better soon), cold, wet, and just sometimes not pleasant unless you are in front of a fire with a cup of hot chocolate or a nice glass of wine – relaxing then I can say.

One point the article mentioned is that:

”Parents mistakenly believe that children naturally learn those fundamental movement skills. But children need to be taught them.”

Parents need to spend time with their children teaching them how to catch a ball, how to throw and so on. Spending time with your child doing physical activity is great, the child sees you play and they join in.

It is interesting to note that boys are outperforming the girls in some areas. In the article it is suggested that the reason for the difference is that more boys are seen on the oval and the playground. An idea in the article to fix this was maybe a girl’s only area?  One reader who has commented on the article has suggested letting girls wear shorts and t-shirts rather than the school dresses. If the girls were more comfortable they might attempt or do more physical activity. I think that is an excellent idea! Do it schools, do it now!

What are your thoughts? I think this is rather scary that we are having a generation that are not physically active. When I was little we ran around in the sun all day and came home at night time for dinner. I know times have changed but we are leading a very sedentary lifestyle. I for one don’t want my girls to grow up without having the ability to run, jump or do any physical exercise. It does impact how you interact with your peers at school, with school carnival (swimming and running), and also playing with other kids – if the child cannot do something they might be picked on or made fun of due to not being good at catching a ball. Send in your comments.

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