Obesity, mental health issues, poor levels of activity, physical problems spending less time outside – Why are we having all these issues with obesity and mental health in such young children?

If you look at research we are constantly being told to encourage outdoor activities for children and the benefits that youngsters receive, from this area is immense. But why aren’t we acting on it?

Technology is paramount in today’s society and it’s benefits are innumerable but are kids spending too much time in front of the screen?

Research proves that children are having far too much screen time which is having a detrimental effect on the amount of time they spend outside. The power of social media is overwhelming and children are increasingly using it as new platforms become available and it is leading to a sedentary lifestyle which could follow through into there adult lives. This lack of activity in turn leads to obesity.

We are all being dragged along the technology rollercoaster, it’s time to switch off ,think and reflect and limit the amount of time we and our kids ‘ride’.

Over the past couple of decades a new culture of both parents working has altered in the way adults interact with their children. Children aren’t walking to school as much, they are eating convenience foods. It’s not easy, I’ve been there myself, and we need to look at other options on how to promote good positive changes in the dynamics within the home emvironment. I believe this could start with Education and parents working in partnership with schools to build a dialogue so everyone feels supported.

The pressures we place on our children particularly at a young age are huge and the rise in mental health problem in the under 16’s as well as the issues surrounding childhood obesity all point towards the need for a change. And it needs to be a drastic one.

To address the decrease in physical education within the school environment to start with we could Introduce a league table for monitoring how we keep every child active throughout the day, just as we monitor their academic performance in Education. Success academically is of little use to children if they don’t have both the mental and physical health to reap the benefits.

An author Richard Louv coined the phrase that has come to define the problem we are now facing
‘Nature Deficit Disorder describes the human costs of alienation from nature, among them: diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses’.
As quoted in the book ‘Last Child in the Woods’ published in 2005, California- based author Richard Louv.

We need to address this now before we hit crisis point. It’s about a balance and we have got to get this right.

The key is keep Active:-

Keeping a balance
Limit screen time
Eat healthy food
Explore your NATURAL environment
Working to your full potential
and being physically active in education.

There is little point in the all this research unless we act on it. We are starving our children of their rights, we need to act now to curb the rising mental health and obesity rates amongst our children.
Act now act fast!