Lack Of Physical Activity In Children: Today’s Epidemic

Physical Inactivity in Children: An Epidemic Today

Physical inactivity in children is a problem that has been gradually growing in Western countries for some time. In today’s world, more children lead a sedentary lifestyle than move.

Physical inactivity in children is a growing problem that affects virtually every part of the world. In fact, it has even been called an epidemic. This situation has developed due to many factors. It is also a potential trigger for serious future health problems.

The World Health Organization in a recent report found that around 70% of boys and up to 88% of girls under the age of 10 do not do enough sport for their age. This means that an average of 79% of children are inactive in physical activity.

Physical activity plays a key role in health at all ages. However, in childhood, it is a key factor influencing the proper development of an individual. This is why healthcare professionals are so concerned about the gradual increase in physical inactivity in children. In today’s article, we take a closer look at this spreading epidemic.

Physical inactivity in children

The word “sitting” comes from the Latin word “sedentarÄ­us” which means “to sit”. There are many ways to define physical inactivity. However, it is most often considered to be a sedentary person when he burns less than 150 kilocalories a day during moderate-intensity physical activity.

A boy playing soccer
Clubs that promote sports among children are a good way to combat a sedentary lifestyle among children and childhood obesity, which are closely related to each other.

In the absence of physical activity in children, the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that a child is sedentary if he exercises less than 60 minutes a day . Several studies show that most Western children do not reach this level of daily physical activity.

The worst part is that the lack of physical activity in children is often associated with other harmful factors, such as poor nutrition. Such a combination means that nowadays more and more children suffer from obesity, with all the consequences that result from it.

Risk factors

Movement in childhood is a key factor that influences psychomotor development. Besides, it is movement that allows children to discover themselves and the world. This, in turn , has a positive effect on their intellectual and psychosocial development.

Why is the lack of physical activity in children so widespread nowadays? Here are the most important factors that influence it:

  • Physiological factors. The closer a child approaches adolescence, the more his physical activity decreases and his intellectual activity increases.
  • Socio-cultural factors. Changes in games and leisure activities, as well as the absence of parents, reduce the level of physical activity in children. Besides, children are not encouraged enough to move.
  • And psychological factors. Lack of physical activity limits skill development. This, in turn, makes the child sit more because he claims that he cannot perform activities that require physical skills.

Physical inactivity in children and its effects

A child’s inactivity has many negative consequences, some of which are long-term. The most important problems include:

Lying children - lack of physical activity in children
  • First of all, too much weight and obesity . Lack of exercise, especially if accompanied by an inadequate diet, leads to the development of overweight and obesity. This, in turn, increases the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Stagnation of psychosocial development. Research has shown that children who are not physically active have less confidence, have fewer social skills and have poorer school performance.
  • The  development of addictions cannot be forgotten either . New technologies can be addictive, especially in the case of immature children’s minds. This limits the normal psychological development of children and can lead to other personality or behavior problems.

What should be remembered

Lack of physical activity can significantly worsen an individual’s life. Such a statement is not exaggerated. If a child does not develop the normal physical and mental skills appropriate to his age, he will have to face significant limitations in his future life.

In addition, the emergence of problems such as overweight or obesity increases the  risk of developing serious chronic diseases.

Adults need to provide children with a suitable environment for physical activity. Both parents and teachers play a significant role in this regard. You can fight a sedentary lifestyle by making appropriate changes to your daily routine and habits.

It is natural that children feel a desire to be physically active , and the early years of their life are key to maintaining this habit . That is why adults should support their desire to explore the world through moving around, playing with other children and being in touch with nature.

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