Summary: Lack of active outdoor play is turning our children into overweight individuals with no interest in any form of physical activity. While it is easy to blame technology and media for this disturbing trend, it would make more sense to use gadgets wisely and effectively, to help our kids stay fit and healthy.
Remember the days when play time meant endless hours of outdoor activity? Our parents would yell themselves hoarse trying to get us kids back home in time for dinner or homework. The thrill of playing football until the sunset and running around in circles playing catch is something that seems like a whole lifetime away now.
Where are kids today? Chances are you will find them glued to a screen- tapping away at the latest Angry Birds game on a tablet, swiping the touch screen of a phone playing the recent bubble burst game or racing away in the updated car game on their gaming consoles.
Disadvantages of technology:
This lack of physical movement gives rise to a host of problems ranging from lethargy to obesity. And, sadly, the percentage of overweight children in countries across the globe is slowly on the rise. What is more, the fact that they don’t get any exercise is detrimental to their emotional and intellectual development as well. Well-adjusted children are those who indulge in a bit of everything- academics, sports, mental stimulation and social interaction.
So, how do we combat this problem with technology? After all, isn’t technology to blame in the first place? If there weren’t any touch phones and video games, children would automatically turn to outdoor sports, right? Well, that’s a debatable point. Stimulation can come from a multitude of sources and the fact of the matter is, technology is here to stay.
Use technology in your favor:
Instead of blaming the negative impact of technology on our kids, let’s turn it to our advantage.
Let’s get the gadgets to do our work for us: Motivate the kids to exercise!
More and more gaming wizards are coming up with innovative techniques and equipment to make exercise a fun-filled activity.
1. Dance games:
The Japanese came up with an interesting concept: mix dance and exercise. The well-known dance revolution game incorporates features of movement, coordination, musical rhythm and unadulterated enjoyment. The child will have to match the moves of the computer on a color-coded mat without missing a beat or stepping on a wrong square. Hey, it’s sure to get the child jumping around!
2. Stationary Cycle:
If cycling up and down a physical hill seems like too much effort for your chubby teenager, invest in this great stationary bike which comes coupled with a gaming screen. He/she will ride the bike while navigating simulated mountains and valleys on a display. The faster the child cycles, the more interesting the terrain becomes. So the calories are burned while the child derives enjoyment.
3. The technology harness:
Researchers have developed an interesting piece of gear that encourages physical movement. It looks like a backpack without the bag. It has to be worn around the waist and comes with an inbuilt sensor, which is wirelessly connected to a large TV screen. The screen will reel off instructions such as: ‘Turn to the left’, ‘Jump five inches’ or ‘Bend sideways’. The child must react according to the instructions, while the sensor records and evaluates the child’s response time, equilibrium and energy. Now, you can really let them jump around!
So, are you going to use technology with your child? This way, we have a win-win situation. The kids are busy exercising while having fun and you can breathe a sigh of relief that the latest gizmo from the store is actually helping your kid shed that extra flab.
Ray Lehigh is a person with great passion for writing; he has written many articles on different topics like food delivery diet programs. You can look out for more on his other blogs related to health and beauty.