- India yet to improve on physical activity level of children and youth in the country
- Proper activities results in overall development of the child
- WHO recommends a minimum of 60 minutes physical activity for children and youth
- Physical activities also results in better academic performance
- Encourage children to cycle or walk to school every day
A study of more than 600 school going students in Mangalore substantiates that children living in rural areas spent more time on physical activities when compared to the same age groups in urban areas. Another study among school students in different parts of the country found out that about 21 percent of children were inactive while 18 percent involved in some kind of physical activities once in a week.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, children and youth between 5 to 17 years of age should have a minimum of 60 minutes physical activity session as a part of their daily routine. It can be playing games, sports, cycling to school, recreational activities, planned exercises, etc.
Involving in proper physical activity helps the following in youth:
- It helps maintain normal body weight as per the age
- It helps develop hearts and lungs
- Ensures healthy muscles and bone tissues
- Improve coordination and movement control activities of the brain
- Paves way for healthy mind
- Participation in sports or group activities enhance social skills too
- Results in better academic performance
The 2016- report by Active Healthy Kids Globally, a non-government organization, marked C grade which is only 50 percent of children and youth participate in physical activities. As the study could not collect information on organized participation in sports and unorganized involvement in games or plays, it points out how poor our system to evaluate the situation on such a crucial subject that affect the health of a young generation.
The incompleteness of information in such areas should never be ignored, and more researches will help explore more.
Physical activities for children and youth should have both aerobic and strength activities. Aerobic can be normal exercises from stretches to intense like skiing while strengthening exercises involve activities for muscle and bone like push-ups, sit-ups for muscle and yoga, jumping, etc. for bone.
Here are a few tips for physical activities:
1. When you go to school or to buy something, instead of traveling by bus or car, try walking, running or cycling.
2. Try yoga or aerobic classes
3. Have a walk with your pet dog
4. Join the sports club at school and indulge in some activities
5. Don’t spend too much time in front of TV. Try to have some play time with friends or siblings