Great question! And one that I deal with personally and professionally. Let me begin by clarifying this. A video game will not cause obesity. Although, they are related if you are talking about a stationary game (where there is little physical movement) and serving it with a side of fat and sugary foods.
In my personal life I have three primary aged children. The most difficult one of these to take the ipad, ipod, Wii off is our 12 year old son. If we didn't have any boudaries in place with him, he would be in front of a screen all the time.
Professionally, I am a personal trainer and counsellor and in working with children there are a few points that are valid in all ascpects of life.
* Boundaries - there are healthy guidelines for eating, sitting and for movement - too much of any of these is not a good thing
* Active play - children can be playing interactive games in front of the TV (although they may be missing out on the fresh air and outdoors). Another great motivator for kids to get outside, having parents who join in. You could engage a family personal trainer to get you started!
* Balance - Dr Michael Carr Greg said earlier today that for each hour a child is in front of a screen, there ought to be a hour away from the screen. Children's brains develop when they are engage in play outside the screen. As opposed to a waistlines that develop when they are in front of the screen.
In my family and my work I promote these three things
- Healthy boundaries
- Active play
And so can you in your home. Enjoy today!
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