In the previous sections of Seattle Organic Restaurants I talked about childhood obesity, school lunches and the harms of sugary beverages. In this part I’m going to talk about lack of physical activity in our schools.
We know that physical activity has been decreasing for all Americans in different ages. Kids do not have much physical activity comparing to 70s or 80s. Unfortunately digitized and modern world will stop all of us from moving at a certain age. Kids are spending 4, 6 and even 8 hours a day on computers or video games. These kids are less likely to get interested in a sport, physical activity or finding a friend. Most kids in America have TV and computer in their room; they eat, live and sleep in front of their computer or TV.
It’s becoming really hard to get our kids off the couch and ask them to be more active on a weekend; somehow we have to push kids out the door to get them play. Kids are now socializing online on facebook, or twitter and friend time to them is sitting on a chair with head set chatting online. Unfortunately things are very likely to be less than optimal in your child health if they are spending most of the day in front of computers, TV and eating or drinking sugary foods and beverages. Right now we see children at the age of ten being diagnosed with adult health problems like high cholesterol, high sugar level and high blood pressure.
Isn’t preventing a problem easier than fixing it?
40 years ago many children walked to school where as today only less than 20% of kids walk to school. In many schools PE (Physical Education) is no longer mandatory and many parents aren’t sure if the kids are safe playing outside so the kids are very likely to be staring at TV or a computer screen. More and more schools are making PE mandatory and only 5 states require kids to have PE. Unfortunately right now only 2% of high schools, 8% of middle schools and 4% of elementary schools in the US provide PE every day.
We are becoming a nation that likes to WATCH more than PLAY and RIDE more than WALK. No federal laws require schools today to have physical education for kids so it’s totally up to local government or states to set the PE requirements. Not just that the PE will increase physical fitness it also enhances the academic performance by improving the brain and increasing kids learning capacity. A healthier nation will effectively decrease the cost of health care and improves overall fitness and academic performance. Shouldn’t PE and healthy nutritional lunch at school be the SMARTEST INVESTMENT we can make for the future of our kids?