Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report about physical activity, sleep and screen time for children under 5 years of age. Children under the age of 5 need to spend less time in front of screens, more time being active, less sedentary time and get better quality sleep. Children need to start a healthy lifestyle early because early adolescence is a period of rapid growth and development. Children need to limit the amount of time in front of screens when they are young, if they spend any time. Physical activity is important to help develop proper motor skills as well as mental health.
Inability to meet the requirements set out in this report is resulting in more than 5 million deaths per year. 23% of adults and 80% of adolescents are not sufficiently physically active. It is essential that good habits are developed when children are young when it comes to physical activity and sleep because they will help shape their habits later in life. Today children spend too much time sitting around and not enough time being active and playing, it is important that children spend enough time playing. Almost as important about being active is getting enough sleep. There needs to be a shift back to children being more active without sacrificing their sleep. The sedentary time that children have, should be spent interacting with adults either talking or reading to help stimulate their brains.