Statistics show that children are less active now than in the past. For example, research demonstrates that up to 90% of time spent in daycares is sedentary.
Statistics show that children are less active now than in the past. For example, research demonstrates that up to 90% of time spent in daycares is sedentary. And one-quarter of children aged two to five spend over two hours a day watching television. In all, children spend three-quarters of their waking time in sedentary activities.
Sedentary behaviour is that which involves very little movement during a child’s waking hours and which, more specifically, consists of being seated or lying down. Here are some of the reasons why children move less today:
1. Time spent sitting
Babies in particular spend a lot of time sitting (in the car seat, vibrating chair, high chair, swing, stroller, etc.). This position does not help them develop their muscles properly.
2. Too many screens
Screens are a fact of life for even very young children. And yet, studies show that staring at a screen hinders language and motor skill acquisition, which could lead to academic and socialization difficulties. The Canadian Paediatric Society advises against any screen activity (television, video games, tablets, etc.) before age two. And a number of Canadian organizations recommend a maximum of one hour of screen time per day for children between the ages of two and five.
3. Highly structured days
Children’s days are often filled with routines and structured activities that leave little room for movement. “Since they play outdoors at the daycare, we think they’ve had enough activity for the day. But that’s often not the case,” warns Monique Dubuc, National Coordinator at Kino-Québec.
4. Obsession with safety
“These days, we see risk everywhere, and we want to protect our children from everything,” explains Claude Dugas, who teaches Human Kinetics at Université du Québec in Trois-Rivières. We prefer children to remain safe at home, drawing, watching TV or playing on an electronic tablet. “There’s a difference between protecting and overprotecting,” notes Dubuc. “Making sure the environment is safe is protecting. Preventing your child from having a variety of experiences because we’re afraid is overprotecting.”
Falling while running is normal and even helps your child’s development.