Ever Wondered What is Outside Those Screens? (Infographic)
Did you know that, on average, British girls spend about 5 hours while British boys spend around 13 hours a week playing video games?
This may not surprise you, but your child may very well be among those spending a fair amount of time in front of screens or high-tech gadgets.
Traditional outdoor activities like stargazing and football might be a thing of the past, thanks to the technology bubble we now live in. However, carefully consider this. Is having your child spend so much time and energy on these screens and high-tech gadgets all worth it?
Why You Should Consider Bringing Back Physical Activity into Your Child’s Routine
Not only is physical activity better than so much time spent on screens, but it also has many benefits which help children stay fit, smart and far away from health and social hazards which you might be unaware of as a parent.
You may find this surprising, but childhood obesity rates in the UK have tripled in the last 20 years.
This also means that kids who are addicted to gadgets are exposed to all sorts of other health hazards like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, coordination disorder, developmental delays, unintelligible speech, learning difficulties, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, it is almost a never-ending list.
Additionally, 1 out of every 4 school-aged children has deteriorating eyesight today.
If these gloomy tales of the amount of time children spend in front of the screen were not alarming enough, there is cyberbullying, which today is among the worst hazards of the online world.
In a survey, 87% of UK adolescents confessed to having faced cyberbullying more than once.
Benefits of Outdoor Play
One of the biggest reasons that top nations like China and Japan have reached a high level of achievement and success, is due to the inclusion of physical activity in school curriculums. This is done every hour to keep school-going children fresh, productive and generally healthy.
As a result, students’ academic performance has also been observed to rise by 20% just after having one Physical Education (PE) session.
Real outdoor play also develops essential social skills in kids, something you might think is unnecessary today but could prove to be vital at some point in life.
About 11.5% of 15000 newly admitted school children this year did not have the behavioural skills required to socialise with their classmates properly.
These kind of children are more likely to exhibit certain disorders including mental health problems, hyperactivity, difficulty making friends, and other problems associated with behavioural patterns. In addition, the ongoing “selfie culture” has raised the number of anxiety and depression cases among children to 42% in the last 5 years.
Ideas to Encourage More Outdoor Play
Here are some interesting ideas to cut down on all forms of “artificial happiness” and get your children to rejoice and cherish what the real world has to offer:
- Have a bedroom revamp planned with their bestie.
- Arrange a neighbourhood carwash camp every Sunday morning.
- Go camping over the weekend, or;
- Have a camping night right in your backyard along with a sleepover with your child’s best mates.
- Have friends and cousins over for a pool party.
- Get your creative hats on and paint a community wall that needs a new lease of life.
- Dedicate an hour to social service every week. Ask friends and family to lend their efforts to the noble cause.
- Cook or bake treats for the old and poor, or signup for mentoring underprivileged children.
- Initiate children’s activities in your neighbourhood community events – one-dish parties, cycling competitions, painting competitions, lemonade stalls etc.
- Take part in student-exchange programs to widen up your child’s exposure canvas.
- Learn a second language.
- Get a cool RiiRoo Scooter or Motorbike which caters to your child’s taste this birthday, instead of the latest tablet. We assure you it is not only healthy but far more exciting!
You are probably thinking of asking your child to call up his/her friends to plan an adventure or two. After all, life is to be lived to the fullest.
The future holds plenty of promise; however, it is also very important to see to it that your young one has a normal childhood by staying active, and as far removed from screens and technological contraptions as possible.