“Sitting Is The Smoking Of Our Generation”

This is a brilliant saying from Nilofer Merchant’s Huffington Post article Huffington Post article  and corresponding  TED talk .  As a pediatric physical therapist and movement advocate, I fully agree.

What can we do as parents?

  • Limit your screens!  Turn those things off and get moving instead!  National Screen Free Week is May 4th – May 10th!  I urge you to participate in this starting on Monday  if your family is not already screen free.  Here is their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/screenfreeweek  Go and check it out!

Here are the tips for screen free week.

Here is a list of 101 Screen Free Activities  Activity is the font of life!

Keep moving!  Here are a few more ideas:

  • Stop sitting so much ourselves.  Cooking, cleaning, gardening, active pursuits all count. Choose walks in the morning and afternoon, less time in a car overall.   Show our children we can DO.  Be the role model!
  • Plan time to get outside every day.  Look for playing and meeting other parents in streams, creeks, large expansive meadows, hiking trails and beaches.  Get children on their bikes (many children CAN learn to ride a bike with no training wheels by 3 and a half if they practice and use a balance bike first!).  Swim, pick berries, walk.
  • If you live in a neighborhood, let your children play outside with other children.  Talk to the other parents in your neighborhood!  Yes, even if you have to put dinner in a crock pot and stand there outside with them all and yes, even if you have to show grades-aged children how to play kickball or freeze tag.  Don’t laugh; I have met children that had no idea how to play either or these games.  Pull out jump ropes and help them draw hopscotch. 
  • If you are homeschooling, schedule in ACTIVE time.  Not just active movement in the “warm-up” part of the day, but during the main lesson itself.  Can you also plan a very active outing each week in addition to being outside each day as well?  Can you kayak, canoe, snowshoe, ski, hike, snorkel one full morning or afternoon a week?

Share your ideas for cutting out or down media and staying active with children in the comment box or on The Parenting Passageway Facebook page!



3 thoughts on ““Sitting Is The Smoking Of Our Generation”

  1. I think this is vitally important. But I am guilty of letting my 3 year old have extended periods of screen time. I use it as a way of down time. But I know it is too much time in front of a screen. It is a problem of our times. Adults do it and are modelling it to children. So what to do? Your ideas are great. Have a list of other non screen activities at hand. I find it easier when other children are around for my son to play with. He is an only child so often does not have the company or stimulation of other children. It’s just me and if I’m tired giving him screen time is down time for both of us. He has gone off reading books, so that’s not an option. I find this a challenging aspect of rearing my child.

  2. Great ideas to be active Carrie! But Melissa, no guilty feelings about having some screen time please. I have a 13 year old daughter and a 15 year old son and I know how hard it is when there’s no one around to be active with. I am all for movement and being outside but I can’t play bottle soccer, go for bike rides, walks and inline skating every single day with them. Just today I went for a walk with child 1 and skating with child 2 to keep them active but I can’t nor do I want to do that every day. I do make them go outside but it’s harder when there’s no one around for them to play/hang out with. You need your down time too! I’m glad to hear you take time for yourself It’s all about balance. My son meets his friends online. I know it’s not how we did it and I don’t like it, but that;s how they socialize in high school. I don’t want to take away his social time but I do limit it. Balance it is and sometimes we’re out of balance. For you to acknowledge and realize your son is behind the screen too much sometimes is showing you know when you’re out of balance for that day or week. I am sure you’ll find it back on other days! Good luck and enjoy your down time without feeling bad please!

  3. Pingback: “Sitting Is The Smoking Of Our Generation” | Hunt & Gather, Squat & Carry

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