Time spent inside four walls for almost a year may have negatively affected not only the psyche, but also the physical condition of all family members. Once the restrictions are lifted, it’s worth taking advantage of outdoor activities again.
Children’s physical activity during the pandemic
A report prepared for the Nestle brand and the Polish Athletics Federation was conducted in September last year. The aim of the study was to show how the youngest children spent their time during the pandemic and lockdown: how they spent their free time, whether they were physically active, what their eating habits were and how they practiced sports.
The study clearly showed that children in Poland have drastically decreased the frequency of their physical activity. The decline affected as many as 33% of families surveyed. What’s more, the average time children spent on physical activity each day decreased by about 30 minutes. The results showed that part of the daily time spent on physical activity and sports was spent sitting in front of the computer. The time spent interacting with peers also decreased.
How has the pandemic affected children’s physical fitness?
Lack of systematic physical activity and sedentary lifestyle meant that after a year of lockdown we can talk about a significant weakening of the fitness of the youngest. Children had much more opportunities to snack, especially unhealthy snacks, whose calories they could not burn during physical education classes or playing outdoors.
Sedentary lifestyle and hours spent in front of a computer screen have negatively affected the proper functioning of the body. Maintaining a sedentary position for several hours during the day leads to weakening of muscle strength, stiffening of joints and reduced mobility. Prolonged use of a computer screen or smartphone is also harmful for the eyes and can lead to serious eye defects.
Lockdown time has also intensified the problem of teenage and adolescent depression in Poland. The phenomenon has increased due to the feeling of loneliness, limited opportunities to leave home, difficult family situation or cyberbullying from school peers.
Activities for the whole family
While mental health and mood problems should be treated by a professional, incarceration can be addressed on your own. The restrictions that were lifted in the spring allow you to spend your free time with your family, doing various types of activities.
Since the end of May, swimming pools, water parks, gyms, fitness clubs and dance schools have been open. By choosing the right activities, you can go for joint lessons of your favorite dance style or go for swimming lessons for the whole family.
In addition to organized activities, you can also go for a long walk, ride a bike or use the nearby sports facilities. In this type of complexes you can find a field to play soccer, basketball, volleyball or tennis. The facilities are often accompanied by a gym and a playground for the youngest children.
Simple physical exercise for the whole family
The World Health Organization WHO released a report last year recommending the amount of time children should spend on sports each day. The study found that the optimal amount of time to devote to daily physical activity is about 60 minutes for school-aged children. Exercise should be at a medium intensity level so that the child can walk about 6,000 steps per day.
Physiotherapists concerned with normal child development also recommend simple exercises that will stimulate the body, give strength to neglected muscles and improve overall physical condition. The list of these types of activities can include squats, jumping jacks, jumping jacks, dynamic marching in place, jumping jacks, or even balancing on all fours.
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