with Fred Eaves
With a new year there often comes renewed commitments for us, as adults, to be – and stay – healthy. But, as important as our health, is the health of our children.
According to the Center for Disease Control, students who are physically active “tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behavior (e.g., on-task behavior).”
While it may seem like between school and organized sports you have your child’s physical activity covered, here are a few easy ways you can continue to create a culture of wellness at home:
Remember “wellness” goes beyond physical activity.
When we talk with our students and families about “wellness,” we’re addressing the physical, mental and social health of our students because we know their long-term success requires not just academic preparation, but the skills required to make healthy life choices, self-regulate and exhibit appropriate social behavior.
Take a hike (or a walk, or a bike ride), TOGETHER.
Engaging in physical activity with our children – even just a game of hide and seek – reinforces the importance of being active and allows you to connect without the distractions that sometimes plague our togetherness inside our homes.
Limit screen time.
A recent study published in the journal Preventative Medicine, found that children who spend seven or more hours a day on screens (not including schoolwork), are more than TWICE as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety as children whose screen time is limited to one hour a day (not including schoolwork). Think seven hours seems like an impossibly high number? A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that 95% of teens ages thirteen to seventeen have access to a smartphone, and 45% of teens claimed to be online “almost constantly.”
Set a good example.
From our food choices to our physical activity, from our sleep habits and to time spent in front of a screen (eMarketer reports adults spend an average of more than twelve hours a day consuming media!), we’re our children’s No. 1 role model. Each day provides us with opportunities to be teaching our children healthy habits.
2020 is the year – and the decade – for us to be fully aware of the influence we have on our children and to help them develop lifelong healthy habits.