We are living in the age of information, innovation, intelligence and modern technology. Research has been done that shows on average 3-4 hours a day are spent engaged with screen media for kids under 3 and by age 8 that average increase to 7.5 hours a day (White, 2012). We are going to look quickly through some reasons why your kids should put down the tablet and get active.
When sports and activity are introduced at a young age, children get the opportunity to develop self expression and self regulation. In an example from the Minnesota Children’s Museum in a game of chase “children are at a high level of arousal, but when the game is over they must control their behavior in order to disengage and settle down” (White, 2012). In addition, children are more likely to pay better attention, have higher performance and are more disciplined in class when they are involved in organized activities, such as a sport, because they require those characteristics in participation. Studies have shown that athletes do better in school, have higher attendance and graduation rates, although they are depicted as the opposite in the media (Krings, 2014).
Promotes Social Skills and the Ability to Work With Others
In school, most of the time children are encouraged to learn individually and work alone, however in college, the workforce and “real life” we are constantly working with others toward a common goal. This is just what team sports teaches. For example, being on a baseball team requires focus on individual skills like hitting, throwing and catching, but also requires teamwork to get an out or bring a runner home to score (Bacheyie, 2015). Being active in team sports also helps build social skills while providing the opportunity to meet others who may be different from you and learning how to work together despite those differences.
Later In Life
Studies show that in adolescents, participation in sports severely decreases due to the more competitive nature and the “survival of the fittest” attitude. When a child is introduced to sports and physical activity at a young age, they are given the chance to find an activity that they enjoy doing and since exercise is not comfortable, it is important for children, and people of all ages, to find an activity they can have fun doing. Being physically active at a young age also increases strength, coordination, bone mineral content and increases the likelihood of them following a healthier lifestyle later in life (Bacheyie, 2015).
While there are ways technology can be used in positive ways to cater to a child’s need for play, it should never be used as a replacement. Technology can and should be used as a supplement to play and recreational sports are a great way to have a meaningful and guided experience.
To learn more about Melissa and i9 Sports, please visit www.i9sports.com.
Bacheyie, Kulaa, MS, CSCS. "Good Sport: Health Benefits of Recreational Team Sports." Obesity Action Coalition. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
Krings, Mike. "Study shows high school athletes perform better in school, persist to graduation more than non-athletes." The University of Kansas. N.p., 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
White, Rachel E., Dr. "The Power of Play: A Research Summary of Play and Learning." Minnesota Children's Museums, 2012. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.