Childhood obesity is a huge problem around the world today! There are many factors contributing to childhood obesity, but one of the main ones is the fact that kids spend so much time being sedentary, rather than being active! Educate yourself so that you can join in and begin fighting childhood obesity.
“Screen-time” is the term used to describe any leisure time spent in front of the tv, computer, mobile device, or tablet (specifically when it is unrelated to work or school.) Children (and adults for that matter!) should never have more than 2 hours of screen-time per day.
When screen-time becomes excessive, and is a regular part of your child’s life, there are many risks that come along with it. Besides obesity, the Mayo Clinic lists these other possible side effects from too much screen time: irregular sleep patterns, behavioral problems, impaired academic performance, violent personalities, and less time spend playing and engaging the mind.
Here are a few tips to help you ensure that your kids aren’t falling victim to the trap of too much screen-time.
-Set strict limits on the amount of screen-time that they are allowed to have each day. Use a timer, and make sure that a schedule is maintained.
-Don’t allow children to have TVs or other devices in their bedrooms. If you allow them to have screen-time in their rooms, they will spend much more time shut away, and less time engaging with the family.
-For every hour of screen-time that you allow, mandate that they must spend an equivalent amount of time participating in some form of exercise. There are so many benefits to cardiovascular exercise that your kids will gain if they stay active!
-Start a habit of keeping your kids active *while* they watch tv. Teach them about stretching, and some basic calisthenics that they can do during commercial breaks in order to break up the time spent in a sedentary state.
-Don’t eat in front of the TV. Use dinner time as a screen-free zone to talk about what different family members have done throughout the day, and then plan a fun evening activity.
-Find activities that your children are interested in and do everything that you can to allow them to participate in these activities. Join clubs and organize play dates for other kids who have the same interests.
-And last but not least, talk to your kids about the risks of too much screen-time. Tell them about obesity and explain that it leads to illness and could even lead to death. Keeping your children informed and teach them early on. Exercise can cure many bad habits, and help to develop habits that can be maintained for their entire lives!