WHY HAVE CHILDREN STOPPED MOVING?
Sun 01 Apr 2018
Children are spending more and more time sitting down or not moving at a higher frequency than ever before. According to research long periods sat down actually starts the ageing process early in children as young as the age of 6, hardening the arteries and creating inflammation in the system. So why aren't we helping them move more?
We need to create a new norm for children (or actually bringing the old norm back in). We must incorporate physical activity and a love of moving and play into children’s everyday lives using the natural and built environment. We need policy makers, parents and practitioners to help make a change… to give every child the HUMAN RIGHT TO MOVE!
It should be an entitlement for very child to be active, to have fun and enjoyment through movement. It is vital for their cognitive and psycho-social development and much of their influence starts at school and at home. It starts with an early confidence and competence to move and making sure every child is included. It is about school, parents and community partners such as sports clubs to come together to maximise resource, intelligence and practice and creating the active day for all children. It is about ensuring movement and reducing sitting time. It is our duty to raise the profile and benefits of physical education or sport sessions.
Why do we, as adults, parents and carers spend all of our time restricting children’s movement? Whether that is placing young children in pushchairs to car seats to high chairs (without their feet even touching the ground); to the inherent fear of the safety for their child and restricting their scope of play around the home or the school grounds… children’s movement is constantly constrained.
“Don’t go outside, it is raining and you might slip and get wet.” Really? Are we so concerned with health and safety and a few children getting wet that we are prepared to take a risk with their future health?
Let them go out and explore. Let them get muddy. Let them take risks and learn from their actions. Let them make friends and socialise. Let them relieve stress and expend energy for their physical and emotional wellbeing. Let them have fun. Let’s give them the human right to move!!