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Dear Abby

06 Apr

Dear Abby

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Dear Abby,

I am worried my kids get too much screen time/computer time and not enough physical activity. How much activity should by kid be getting to be healthy?


Amanda D.

Dear Amanda,

This a huge concern for myself and many other of my mom friends! How easy is it to give them a tablet or device and have some time for yourself! We are all guilty of this.  Recent literature in an article by the Department of Health and Human Services has shown a rise in adult like diseases presenting themselves in children. One of the best ways to combat this rise is to make sure the children are getting enough physical activity.

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed guidelines recommending that youth ages 6-17 participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity 7 days/ week. This is total activity time, so 1 hour, 2 30 minute sessions, or 4 sessions of 15 minutes each in a day would all satisfy this recommendation. Most of this activity should be at either moderate or vigorous intensity:

  • Moderate intensity allows you to talk but not sing during or right after activity.
  • Vigorous intensity allows you to say only a few words at a time.

As part of the 60 minutes daily, it is recommended that children participate in muscle strengthening activities 3 days/wk and bone strengthening activities 3 days/wk. Some activities that would fit into these categories are listed below:

Muscle Strengthening Activities

  • Games like tug of war 
  • Climbing playground equipment
  • Push ups, pull ups, or sit ups
  • Activities like crab walking, bear walking, or wheelbarrow with a partner

Bone Strengthening Activities

  • Hopscotch
  • Jumping rope
  • Skipping
  • Sports that include jumping like basketball or volleyball
Playful Activity to Keep your Kids Moving!

To get and keep kids participating, physical activity should be fun and incorporated into PLAYFUL activities that are age appropriate. Being involved in physical education in school is important, especially if children are not involved in extracurricular activities that meet the requirements.

Summer camps can be a great way to keep kids active during summer vacation.

For more information CLICK HERE to see what the CDC recommends.

If these few things do not help or you would like a personalized exercise plan specific to your child, come see us at Elite Physical Therapy and let us guide you in getting your family moving and living life to the fullest!

Your “Family” Physical Therapist,

Abby LeBlanc, DPT

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