There used to be an age when getting the kids to spend time indoors would be as difficult as trying take a new puppy away from a toy. Whatever the weather, whatever the day, children would want to spend their free time playing outdoors in the fresh air –climbing trees and getting grazed knees, making dens from battered planks of wood, cycling, skating or just good old fashioned walking…
And then came along the internet.
No one can deny the amazing educational benefits that the internet brings for today’s children, but it can pose a danger to their physical health.
Here at our chiropractic clinic in Southend, we treat many children for back and neck pain (we’ve all heard of “text neck”!) and it’s impossible to ignore that the growing amount of time that youngsters spend online sometimes plays a major role in these often modern age aches and pains.
While limited and monitored internet usage can be advantageous for certain areas your child’s life, it’s important (now more than ever) that physical activity plays a major role in their free time.
Our award winning Southend chiropractor provides the following top tips to keep your child happy and healthy (without a single mention of the internet!):
1: Help them to discover a fun activity. The more your child enjoys an activity, the more likely they will be to stick at it. Talk to your child about how important physical activity is and play and active part in helping them to start something they’re interested in.
2: Remember to choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate and respect your child’s views if they think something is too young/ old for them or if they naturally grow out of something. For example, a child who starts ballet lessons at the age of 4 may not want to continue with that particular activity when they’re 12.
3: Ensure that you always plan ahead and make time for your children to exercise.
4: Be proactive in the toys that you buy by selecting ones that promote physical exercise. There are always plenty of new inventions on the market for older children (how much fun do Segways look?) and toddlers and younger children should always have easy access to balls, ride alongs and other active toys.
5: Be active yourself. If your child sees you regularly enjoying sports and physical activities then they are likely to follow in your footsteps. On the flip side, if your child sees you spending most of your downtime on your Smartphone, tablet or laptop then they will assume that is the ‘norm’.
6: Play with your child and plan family days out/ activities together. Why not arrange a family walk every Sunday morning where no technology is allowed? Not only will this benefit your child’s health and fitness but it will encourage you to communicate as a family (something that is also often hampered by too much internet usage).
To book an appointment with our award winning team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor in Southend on 01702 430430.