Is Technology Hurting your Children?

In doing research for this article I was alarmed at the decrease in physical activity of children that has occurred in my lifetime. I am 24 and when I was a kidkids-on-smartphones[1],  (yes I know this is funny to some)  I spent my days outside running around the neighborhood on my bike, skate boarding, playing ball with my friends, jumping on a trampoline, and building snow forts. I didn’t have a smartphone (they didn’t exist yet). Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter hadn’t been invented yet. If I wanted to talk to one of neighborhood friends, I was more likely to jump on my bike than pick up our landline.

My parents childhoods were much different than mine.  When they were kids. cell phones didn’t exist, there was no cable, only 3 television channels, and personal computers and the Internet hadn’t been invented yet. It appears there was nothing for them to do except go outside and play.

Today the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that childhood obesity rates have tripled in 30 years and currently one out of every three kids is considered overweight. Parents say the numerous distractions with TV, games and cell phones are inhibiting kids’ healthy lifestyles.

The Physical Activity Council which has reported that in 2012, 192 million Americans – nearly 70% of the country — were not active to healthy standards, i.e. 30 minutes of exercise at least three days a week. In this study, youth inactivity percentages are growing at alarming rates

About three out of four children ages 5 to 10 get less than one hour of physical activity daily, according to a YMCA survey. The 2011 survey of more than 1,600 U.S. parents was conducted by the YMCA of the USA. It showed that that 74% of children between the ages of 5 and 10 do not get enough exercise on a daily basis, based on the 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended in the government’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

There are so many distractions today for kids that parents need to get actively involved in scheduling activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. Get your kids away from the TV, Smart Phone, Video Games, and Computer into to more healthy activities. The good news is that playtime with healthy activities can be fun too.