There’s no denying that advancements in technology have made our lives easier. We can work from home, shop online, and watch newly released movies, among many other things, all without leaving the couch. And while this saves us travel time and hassle, it can lead to unexpected health consequences. The reason is that we are sitting for prolonged periods, which can cause the muscles in our bodies to be impacted negatively. Even worse is our children are also sitting a great deal, so they are now faced with the same issues that adults have been. Therefore, it’s important for children to keep their bodies moving throughout the day.
The human body is like a machine. If we sit too long or too much, our bodies become rusty and aren’t easy to move. The significant damage that can result, over time, can lead to heart disease, obesity, posture issues, neck and back pain, and poor circulation, to name a few. Children today are not only sitting in school but for much of their evenings and weekends. This is in part due to advances in technology. Not only are children more prone to developing diseases earlier, but studies have also shown that sitting can negatively affect their mental health as well. In addition, sitting causes fatigue, affecting concentration, which is a necessary element for optimal learning and retention. Prolonged sitting also makes it difficult for the vestibular system to develop correctly, leading to a disorganized brain and lack of spatial awareness.
The good thing is we can counteract these effects with movement, which increases blood flow and creates new brain cells. Since fidgeting and poor attention are often symptoms of lack of movement opportunities, it’s crucial to get children up and going as much as possible throughout the day. In school, teachers can take quick stretch breaks between subjects and encourage children to run and play during recess. Parents can limit tech time at home and create opportunities to get moving, such as family walks, sports, or simply outside playtime. By being proactive, parents can reduce the risk of their children developing long-term physical and mental health issues and ensure that they have a solid foundation for healthy habits.
One way to counteract the adverse effects of prolonged sitting is through classes at the Gentle East Martial Arts. These classes aim to develop children’s physical skills while also engaging their brains. This approach helps children’s bodies develop physically and nurtures brain development through the release of positive chemicals. Combined, these things counteract disease, improve mental health, and enhance concentration and learning. In addition, the Parent SKILLZ supplemental information provides quick tips on how parents can connect with their children and how this is beneficial for role modeling healthy habits while also strengthening the parent-child bond.
As technology continues to advance, our lives will become easier but at what cost to our health? Machines, especially complex ones like the human body, must be moved daily. Therefore, parents must encourage and role model healthy movement throughout each day. These simple things can instill future health habits while also giving parents and children time to connect each day through activities together.
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Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide. Edited by Master Eric Rangel-Ribeiro
Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Master’s Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.