Written by Dr. David Geier, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Obesity rates among kids are at their highest level in years. Children and adolescents spend far too much time every day in front of screens. It could be televisions, computers, phones, video games or other electronic devices. These activities take up valuable time that kids could use to get outside and be physically active.
The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children get 60 minutes of aerobic physical activity each day. It could be done through playing sports, playing games with friends, or exercising in physical education classes. Schools, though, are increasingly cutting back on P.E. programs.
There is another way to get exercise (and have fun) with school. Instead of driving your kids to school, driving them home from school or having them ride a bus to and from school, try letting them walk or bike to school.
Riding a bicycle or walking to school allows children to be active in a way that’s fun for them. They can go with friends to have fun as a group and get there safely. Plus they get outside, allowing them to learn about and enjoy nature.
In addition to the time spent with friends in nature, they get 15 to 30 minutes of physical activity twice a day. That activity can help decrease the chance of becoming obese and decrease their risk for chronic health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It can improve their musculoskeletal health and more.
May 6th was National Bike to School Day, which is part of National Bike Month. Pick a day this month to let your child ride a bike or walk to school or home from school. If you’re free, you can go with them. Use this activity to let kids get outside and get active!