Growing up, we have all heard our parents talk about how we need to get up off the couch and run around outside. Or that we are sitting in front of the TV or playing video games for too long. We all know the importance of exercise in our daily lives, but with growing generations spending more and more time sitting, can this become an issue?

Staying Active

It is always a good idea to encourage your kid to move around and be active. Exercise is not only good for the body, but also the mind. It helps kids stay on their feet but also works their brain, especially if they are playing sports or other games while outdoors. They have to be fast on their feet and in their decisions, whether it’s to kick a soccer ball or who to pass the basketball to. Every child (and adult!) should have a healthy balance of resting and activity, and every person is going to have a unique set of time for each. Every child is not going to be able to play outdoors nonstop for eight hours a day, so be sure to speak with your child’s doctor on what a good estimate of play activity should be. 

Making Time to Rest

It is also equally important to note that every child needs rest. Sleep is super important, and most children need more than eight hours each night, even teenagers. Resting in between activities is also a great way to give your children a well-deserved rest, while also not staying sedentary for long. Watching a movie after football practice, for example, is a good amount of rest for the level of activity your child participated in. If they were playing video games for a few hours and then asked to watch a movie, you may want them to play outdoors for at least an hour or so before they spend more time on the couch. 

The biggest factor in your child being sedentary lies in how much of the day is spent sitting. What you ideally want to shoot for is to not have your child sitting for too long without activity, even if they do spend quite a bit of time sitting. If they spend eight hours a day straight sitting, that could be a problem. While if they spend eight hours a day sitting, but get up every hour and walk around, or take a quick run, and then return to sitting, this can help boost their body with extra activity. 

Be sure to keep your child as active as you can while giving them some time to be a couch potato!

Katie Kyzivat