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Social, mental, physical health and cognitive problems in children increasing in children

Monday - December 3, 2018 9:25 am , Category : OPINION & INTERVIEW

WTN- A study by Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance (AHKGA) - an Australia-based non-profit organisation has found that physical activities in children have decreased worldwide and this is a serious cause of concern.

Sedentary lifestyle, overdependence on technology and lack of space for outdoor recreation like sports are posing as major challenges in the way of an active and healthy lifestyle. Such an unhealthy way of living is causing several social, mental, physical health and cognitive problems in children as their natural propensities are being curtailed by artificial barriers. India too, with her vast population of youngsters is grappling with the problem.
 
Surprisingly, the survey has found that a highly technologically advanced nation like Japan had the healthiest lifestyle of children with ample scope for daily physical activity. Japan has a highly dense population and space is at a premium, yet they have not neglected this important aspect of life. This points to the fact that more than blaming our circumstances, what we need is proper planning and action that can change the situation.
 
First we need to accept and recognise the problem, which many parents are reluctant to do. Once we locate the problem, it will be much easier to focus our attention to the dos and don’ts and act accordingly to remove the obstacles that come in the way of having a more scientific and healthy lifestyle. There are many easy ways to change the habit of our kids, and it needs parental awareness and involvement to do so. Unless parents show their concern and preferably lead by example, things won’t change. Kids emulate their elders and thus those whose parents are lethargic or are hooked to the TV or mobile phone are more likely to adopt such lazy habits.
 
Parents who are active indirectly inspire and push their children to be so and they acquire a lifelong good habit. There are always options if we scout for them. There may not be playgrounds around but there will always be a walkway where children can walk. If not sports, even walking is a golden habit that has to be inculcated. If there are no recreation facilities at hand, at least children can sit with their parents and talk. That is way better than getting addicted to mobile games. If the school is near, the child must be encouraged to walk down rather than depending on being ferried by a bike or school van. If the maid servant is off duty, the child must be encouraged to take up the broom and do the cleaning up at home. These small acts of prudence can go a long way in ensuring a better future for our children. Schools too should lay stress on sports and mandatorily engage students in physical activities to keep them up and going. 
 
Swami Vivekananda had said a century back that it was more important to play football than reading the Gita. He had seen the lethargic nature of our youth and their famished physique and therefore expressly felt the need for greater physical activity to make them more able bodied. This holds truer today as children are now falling prey to obesity due to lack of physical activities which pave the way for scores of other debilitating anomalies.

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