In our modern world, children sit around too much playing with smartphones, tablets or other devices or watching TV. Children can spend hours a day engrossed in these sedentary activities. Screen time should be limited to 1 hour or less per day for children from the ages of 2-5 years. Instead, children should be involved in some kind of physical activity or exercise.
Physical activity is important for young children because it will help with healthy growth and development. Children who exercise will develop stronger bones, muscles, and joints and have a stronger heart. In addition, they will have better posture and balance. Children who have daily physical activity will have better self esteem and maintain an optimal weight. In many parts of the world, childhood obesity has become a problem. A recent report by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore stated that 13 percent of children in mainstream schools were overweight in 2017. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/adults-are-getting-fitter-but-children-are-increasingly-overweight-moh-figures. Healthy habits and exercise should be encouraged at an early age to prevent childhood obesity and other health issues in children.
There are various options for exercise and physical activity for preschoolers. Children can be encouraged to walk, rather than sit in a pram or stroller. Parents and care givers can take children to their local park or playground where children can climb the stairs of the slide, play on the monkey bars, kick and throw balls with friends or caregivers, and/or run around with friends. Children can also benefit from riding bikes or scooters or joining a dance, Taekwondo or yoga class as part of their exercise routine. All of these physical activities will not only help children to grow physically strong and healthy, but will also help with mental and emotional health. In addition, children who exercise during the day also sleep better at night.