Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exercise: It's a home thing

Here at Mrs. Video Game we love the research that is coming out on video games and child development.

In a recent research study titled "A place for play? The influence of the home physical environment on children's physical activity and sedentary behaviour." the researchers looked at video games, the home environment, and a kids probability of exercising.


In terms of research work they refer to sedentary behavior and PA (physical activity).  That is some of the jargon you see over and over again.  And while some research seems to produce a very obvious result it is important to study because sometimes they find unique and interesting results that surprise us all.

What I loved about this study was that it did recognize its limitations.  While it looked for solutions it did also recognize areas of need for future studies.

TV limiting devices reduced TV viewing, however, it is unknown which behaviours replace TV viewing and whether this strategy is successful in the longer term.

What I can take from this study as a parent is that the number of screens and the placement of media devices in our home does matter.  Just decreasing the number of TV hours may not be important if the activity that replaces TV viewing is just as sedentary.

SO ultimately, again, parents matter.  Setting a good example for our kids is more important that many of us realize.  

Make TV viewing a central family activity and be a leader with your kids in physical activity.  You may not feel like putting on leg warmers and a body suit and rocking out to Olivia Newton John's song "Let's Get Physical" but there are things you can do.

  • Go on a walk with your kids after dinner
  • Wake up 10 minutes earlier than usually and stretching first thing in the morning
  • Start out easy and find activities that you can do together making physical activity fun and a time for family bonding

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