Health Parenting

Are children getting weaker?

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Staying fit is not just for adults, it’s also important for children. Here’s why and how you help them…

According to a recent Huffington Post article, it was shown that 10-year olds today are weaker than they were 16 years ago.

The study

The study was taken in Essex over a time period of 16 years. Children were tested on the following basic strength test: sit-ups, standing broad jumps, and bent arm hangs. Perhaps the most surprising was that although children were physically taller and heavier than the previous years, their physical strength had decreased by 20 per cent and muscle strength by 30 per cent.

One of the biggest factors that we can attribute to this is the amount of screen time children are engaging in.  The less active lifestyles we lead, the more prone children are to health risks later on in life.

Luckily, there are endless options to combatting inactive lifestyles in our families. Try these three ideas to help your child stay healthy.

Walking vs driving

We are all guilty of it, taking the car instead of walking that 15 minutes to the shop. But walking is a great way to increase in cardiovascular health. There are great walking trails wherever you are. So stretch your legs on these great paths.

Spend more time outdoors

The UK is filled with parks and scenic routes. Bring the entire family to spend an afternoon at the park. You can even venture one of the many bike paths if you are feeling adventurous.

Join a league

Joining a sports team has many advantages aside from the obvious physical activity. When children are a part of a team, they are gaining lifelong skills. Sills like trust, responsibility, and even communication. These are traits that they can take with them into school and even jobs when they join the workforce. This is also a great way for parents to get out and socialise.