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News

Use iPhones to boost infant activity, says ukactive chief

Devices such as iPhones and tablets should be harnessed to create active lifestyles for children, rather than obstruct them, according to ukactive executive director Steven Ward.

Responding to yesterday’s (20 January) British Heart Foundation National Centre (BHFNC) findings that 91 per cent of all 2-4 year olds are not hitting recommended exercise levels, Ward noted that tablets and smartphones have become the modern day dummy – a means by which parents can pacify their children.

He said modern lifestyles mean that today’s children are exposed to environments not always helpful for creating active habits, so creative solutions must be sought to encourage healthy lifestyles.

“The UK is in the grip of an inactivity crisis stretching from cradle to grave. From the earliest age, it’s essential that children are given the best chance to set positive habits for life,” said Ward.

“We need to find a way to use technology to create active lifestyles rather than remove them altogether.”

His comments came after the BHFNC research shed further light on the extent of inactivity among British infants. The findings showed only nine per cent of 2-4 year olds are currently meeting the three hours of activity a day recommended by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

“The fact that not even 10 per cent of those in the early years are meeting the CMO guidelines show that the message isn’t getting through and something radical must be done,” added Ward, whose organisation’s recent report on youth inactivity – Generation Inactive – warned that children’s sedentary lifestyles are a ‘ticking time-bomb’ for the NHS.

“It’s like parents not knowing breastfeeding is good for children, so clearly something needs to be done to raise awareness. Physical literacy sets you up for life in just the same way. It’s an essential ingredient of future health.”

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Devices such as iPhones and tablets should be harnessed to create active lifestyles for children, rather than obstruct them, according to ukactive executive director Steven Ward.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR
Steven Ward said creative solutions must be sought to encourage healthy lifestyles among children
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Fitness On Demand

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09 Jun 2018
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