I had the honor to talk about children’s play time and exercise habits on CTV Morning Live here in Calgary.
Here are some ideas and observations which may summarize the highlights of the interview:
1. Play is and always will be important.
2. Doctors and organizations will always have advocacy efforts to improve matters. So far it seems it did not help that much.
3. Report cards will always be there—from the UN, from Participaction; from the AMA, the AAP the CPS on and on and on.
4. After a while all of this gets boring and stale….both for MDs, parents and journalists.
5. So lets chat about what it will take to move the needle in the right direction. It will take time….there are no short cuts. Thus we must encourage people to make the time and re-frame it as playtime for all. In fact by not doing it we allow less connection between adults and kids and the magnet becomes electronic devices.
6 We will talk about a subgroup who cannot afford wall climbing, formal team sports and swimming lesson to name a few examples
7. Lets also talk less about obesity per se and far more about the social and mental benefits of play.
8. We also will talk about some kids who start off right and then give up on exercise….usually because of over-zealous coaches/parents or injuries. They tend to go from one extreme to the other and miss out on the sweet spot
9. We will also talk about long term outcomes. It would be nice to say that good role models help (not true always) and that what is taught in early life will last later (not true)
10. Certain kids are simply not wired to be active. For them its wise to keep things simple—-walk. (No gym; no running; no team sports; no eye-hand coordination driven sports)
These are my top ten ideas when it comes to this very important issue.