More and more kids and teenagers are spending time sitting at computers, watching TV, playing on mobiles and tablets, often two screens at once! School holidays often lead to even more sitting and screens.

 1 in 4 teens are ‘almost constantly’ online which can lead to poor posture, neck and back pain and headaches’ (Pew Centre, 2015).

 Regardless of the amount of time teens spend in front of screens being active and partaking in exercise and sport is an important part of childhood; they promote an active lifestyle, enhance social integration, helps teens manage their weight, improves self-confidence and assists in building a positive physical self-image. In most cases, sport and exercise even has a positive effect on academic performance and mental health.

Children who establish regular exercise habits will ideally continue them into adulthood. The Australian Government Department of Health recommends that all school-aged children participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each day.

‘Worryingly 9 in 10 Australian youth don’t move enough!’

There are a few simple techniques you can use to encourage your child to be active at some point every day.  Our top suggestions are:

  • Encourage your child to walk to the closest bus or train station, rather than being dropped off or picked up.
  • Make walking your pet a non-negotiable task every day, in return for screen time.
  • Encourage outdoor activities such as swimming, going to the beach or jumping on the trampoline
  • Suggest physical activities such as indoor rock climbing, trampoline centres and laser tag over sedentary ones such as going to the movies.

Many parents want to help get their children moving to develop and improve their strength, flexibility, co-ordination, fitness and posture but don’t know how.   If you’re looking for a more structured approach to physical activity, we offer 2 teen-specific reformer classes per week (under 15 year olds Monday 4pm, over 15s Wednesday 4pm). These are specifically designed to increase strength, flexibility, coordination and stability.  Plus it is a group class so gives them some social interaction too!

Whether your child is a growing athlete or struggles to squeeze in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day, regular exercise building flexibility and strength can reduce injury and save pain and physio visits.