Good posture is important to physical and mental wellbeing – for us and our kids.
“Walking can take away anger and anxiety, solve a problem, and untangle physical and psychological knots. It can be engaged individually or in groups. Its time is anytime; its place is anyplace; and it fits into anybody’s and everybody’s schedule.”
“Intellectuals – such as poets, composers, painters, and philosophers have always gone walking in order to think, to experience, and to dream.”
GOD’s Doctors for the Restoration to Health
“When you choose food, instead of thinking ‘What does this taste like?’ why not get into the habit of asking yourself ‘How will this make me feel?’ Because food really does impact on your mood, and pretty quickly too.”
from the book Mood Mapping – plot your way to emotional health and happiness, by Dr Liz Miller
(If your wondering, that’s a couch potato)
When I was a child, screen time meant watching TV. Today, screen time includes computers, tablets, mobile phones, surfing the net, playing electronic games, TV viewing, and watching DVDs. While these activities can be educational, and a form of entertainment and relaxation, they involve sitting still, often for long periods of time. If they get the chance, kids often choose screen time over other activities.
According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey, in 2011-2012, children aged 5 to 17 spent on average nearly one and a half hours per day watching TV and close to half an hour using the internet for non-homework purposes. In addition boys spent over half an hour playing electronic games, with girls a mere eight minutes.
Despite what they may tell you, homework presents the smallest portion of screen usage at an average of only six minutes per day – only rising to 17 minutes for 15 to 17 year olds.
This survey also revealed that half of those aged 5 to 17 years had screen equipment in their bedroom. These children spent on average half an hour extra on sedentary screen based activity than those that didn’t have any screens in their bedroom.
So what are these figures telling us?
The World Health Organisation’s (1948) definition of health is as follows:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”
It claims that the individual is not truly healthy unless they have complete well-being.
“While the inclusion of total well-being under the WHO definition of health is one of its attractions, it is also its greatest weakness. By including subjective well-being into the concept of health, the concept ultimately dissolves into a myriad personal subjectivities among which there is no obvious priority. Anything and everything may ultimately be described as a health need.” Catherine McDonald
I do like the idea that there is a intrinsic relationship between the good of the body and the good of the mind. It’s hard to feel energetic and mentally strong when you’re not feeling physically healthy.
I read an article in the Sunday paper a few weeks ago which reported that four out of five Australian children do not get enough daily exercise and that one in four is overweight or obese.
It went on to talk about the vital role parents play in motivating their children, particularly by exercising with them. It made me think about the sedentary life we currently lead and the long term affect it could have on my children.
According to Adrian Bauman, professor of public health at University of Sydney, there are several flow on effects of children exercising and importantly exercising as a family;