Competences as a Solution to Global Problems​

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Physical activities

Current and future health of your child

We know that there is no need to ask you if you want your child to be healthy. The current and future health of the child depends on several factors, some of which you can directly influence. Unfortunately, sometimes we are not aware that we have not provided our child with important prerequisites for good health: 9-10 hours of sleep, cooked food, vegetables and fruits, as well as a sufficient amount of physical activity. We usually don’t think about physical activity, even though the amount of physical activity directly affects the child’s current and future health, i.e. the probability of suffering from various diseases in the future: obesity and high blood pressure, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, bone and joint diseases apparatus (“Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Childhood and Adolescence Affects Future Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies“, Mintjens et al., 2018; “The Health Benefits of Muscular Fitness for Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis“, Smith et al., 2014).

What can you do for the current and future health of your child?

Bearing in mind the importance of the physical activity, what can you do as a parent? First, check how physically active your child is during the week. Scientists created a questionnaire to examine the physical activity of elementary school students, and if you want to see if your child is physical active enough as well as other information about questionnaire and the scientists who created it (Kent C. Kowalski, Peter R. E. Crocker, Rachel M. Donen , 2004), this link contains all the information. If you see that your child’s weekly physical activity is not enough, encourage your child to be active for at least 60 minutes a day (fast walking, light running, dancing, riding a bicycle, rollerblade, skate, various sports and other activities that make the child breathless). Specifically, make sure that the child has enough physical activity during the weekend, because research has shown that the physical activity is especially vulnerable during weekend days (“A Systematic Literature Review with Meta-Analyses of Within- and Between-Day Differences in Objectively Measured Physical Activity in School- Aged Children”, Brooke et al., 2014). Also, find time for your own physical activity, because adults also need at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity a day (“Global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030: more active people for a healthier world“, WHO, 2018). In this way, you will be a role model for your child regarding physical activity participation, especially if you engage in some physical activities together (e.g., cycling). When a child acquires the habit of spending at least one hour every day in a physical activity which is pleasant to him/her, you have done a great job for the current and future health of your child!