Adults play an important role in starting healthy behaviors in their children by promoting physical activity. As children get older, they tend to start being less active, so it is even more vital for adults to encourage exercise opportunities.10 Some things that adults, families and caregivers can do to keep their children active include:
- Being a model for positive healthy behaviors: Be a role model by leading an active lifestyle.
- Make it fun: Set aside time for fun family activities that everyone can enjoy.
- Encouraging children to be active with their peers: This may include taking them to physical activity events or encouraging them to join a sports team and/or try a new activity.
- Limiting their screen time (smart phones, watching TV, video games, computer time, etc.). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children aged 6-17 limit their screen time to two hours a day when not used for school purposes.11 Ways to limit screen time can include:
- Keeping electronics in common areas instead of a child's bedroom
- Not using screen time as a punishment or reward, and
- Turning off the TV during homework and mealtime.11
- Partnering with your child's school: For example, join Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and help organize physical activity events or advocate with school officials to ensure recess and other physical activity opportunities are available.