The American nation on the whole faces a very serious problem at present. It is obesity.Now matter how much time adults spend in the gym, it will not change the situation much till we do not pay attention to the need of physical activity for our children who are going to track the risk factor from childhood to adolescence and, finally, adulthood. The problem of nation’s overweight is to be dealt with starting with the youngest representatives of our society.
The American children, one in eight being obese, are on the verge of such health outcomes as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension. And this are only a few to mention. This is dangerous as unhealthy children will grow up into unhealthy adults. So far, the effort of the officials to promote physical actibvities in children has not brought evident results. On the contrary, countless social, cultural and environmental factors have caused the increase of sedentary life style in children.
The public opinion poll’s results are sad and clear: the children at present prefer watching television and playing video games to going for sports. The hours kids spend on this useless pastime reach up to 25-27 a week. Average kid though spends only 14 minutes a day on physical activity!
And we cannot blame them as our schools are very poor at providing children with sufficient physical training.
Of course, there are physical education classes at school. But however ridiculous it might sound, they are more into theory rather than drawing kids into physical activity (sports). It feels for teachers and instructors together with parents more safe for children’s safety. And lack of play grounds is another negative factor.
To achieve sufficient results every parent, teacher and all the agencies and persoanlities involved this way or that should show team approach do his/her best to:
- limit time children spend on watching TV and playing computer games
- to raise kids’ interest in active games by playing with them during recess at school and physical education classes
- take measures to assure the kids’ health and life are safe during the physical activity
Role of the parents in raising interest for physical activity in their children is under question the social quests tell. According to the recent data, the fact that both parents are involved actively in sports and healthful way of living in general does not mean that their offspring are as much active if active at all. Maybe being too busy with their own fitness program or whatever, they leave their kids’ physical activity life up to school staff.
On the other hand, if youngsters are forced to take physical training, they are more likely too ignore physical activities when they are grown up. This issue is to be taken care of with great delicacy, first of all on the parents’ part who must choose playful form of exercising to encourage their kids to be active. Playing in the backyard with kids or even fooling around with them in the house can become an excellent alternative to the bring and, unfortunately, useless physical training classes. And short 5-10 minutes active breaks during a day will give your kid necessary 30 minutes activity a day. In addition, do the following to support your children:
- don’t hesitate to tell a kid again and again and again that he is really good at this or that activity
- encourage regular physical activity no matter where a child is: at home, school, etc.
- give preference to the activities that the child enjoys and never force him.
- Don’t forget about the individual approach and choose an activity adequate for a child
The significant effect can be achieved only if the measures are taken by all the institutions related to a child, that is as much by an educational institution as by a family. And as earlier we start the physical education of a child in the full meaning of these words, as better the result will be. So, promoting physical education in primary school must become an every-day life issue.
In conclusion, it is necessary to underline that to sustain health of the nation children must have adequate conditions for sport and physical activities in general. And traditional models of physical training are proved to be ineffective, therefore, are to be substituted for modern ways to encourage love for healthy living. Children and their families must kept informed about al the progressive innovations in physical activity and stimulated to make them part of their routine. This measures will serve to awake healthy behaviors in our children which is so needed to improve the health situation in the country.