“Today’s children’s life expectancy is less than their parents.”

A headline I read recently to which I was quite shocked. As a parent, it is a realization I never want to experience. With the advances in medicine, this could never be true however – after investigating some of the following statistics I can see this could be quite possible.

Consider the following; backyards are getting smaller whilst our TVs are getting bigger. Technology is providing us with amazing action games on our flat screens. Children under 8 average 2 hours a day of screen time. Under 16 average twice this at 4 hours a day. Only 55% of Aussie kids participate in organized sports.

Parents have less time to play with their kids with today’s pressures of both parents needing to work. Fast foods and the increased consumption of sugars is a fact of today’s modern lifestyle. So as a result, I think it is fair to say children who either don’t exercise (or have only a minimal amount of exercise) will not exercise in adulthood, and as a result we are seeing obesity and depression becoming more prevalent today and no doubt tomorrow.

The following are just some suggestions to help turn the tide: 

  1. Be a good role model! It’s hard to get kids moving if you are camped on the couch yourself.
  2. Participate in the activities yourself. Show, don’t tell.
  3. Take the initiative and enrol the kids in a sport.
  4. Get on the committee or even coach – the kids will appreciate your interest.
  5. Invite your child’s friends along; this will help motivate them.
  6. Find out what physical activities your child likes, and encourage them to do more of it.
  7. Purchase a remote control car or plane – these have controllers just like console games, but will get them outdoors!
  8. Enjoy fishing or camping in the great outdoors as a family.
  9. Discuss their health needs and explain why they need to be active; this will make them part of the solution rather than being just the problem.
  10. Do not over-supervise, let them play!
  11. Encourage them to ride a bike or walk to school.
  12. Take them to the gym and join up together as mother and daughter or father and son, or simply take them to join with their mate.

As parents we want the best for our kids. Be part of the solution today.

For more information, head over to www.sportsworldcairns.com