Last updated on Jun 11th, 2021 at 01:29 pm
Statistics show that many children today aren’t getting enough physical activity. There are several reasons for this believes parenting expert, paediatrician and author of Good Kids, Bad Habits, Jennifer Trachtenberg:
- Our current digital age encourages more screen time and sedentary activities over outdoor play or games.
- A general lack of energy or motivation to play outdoors – possibly due to poor sleep habits and poor nutrition.
- Time constraints due to an overcrowded schedule.
- Poor role modelling – where parents don’t eat well or exercise and spend too much time in front of the TV. Children follow suit.
- Environmental factors such as the absence of parks in your area or general safety concerns in your neighbourhood.
This lack of exercise is harming children in more ways than one. Daily movement is important for all areas of development including fine motor and gross motor skill development; social and emotional development; and even speech and language development.
Why bouncing on a trampoline is one of the best activities for children
Bouncing on a trampoline is one of the best activities for children. Why? Because it engages all the major muscle groups in one single movement, and stimulates the brain, as well as the cells and organs in the body.
“One of the first things I ask parents when they come to see me is do you have a trampoline at home?” says Tarryn Rutenburg, occupational therapist and co-owner of Talk Sense Early Intervention Therapy Centre in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
She believes bouncing is an excellent activity for children because:
- It improves circulation and oxygen to the brain
- It reduces fatigue
- It’s low impact, which reduces the risk of injuries
- It aids in weight loss and weight management, without being too jarring on the body
- It supports a healthy immune system
- It aids in digestion, thanks to its detoxifying effects on the lymphatic system
- It reduces the risk of anxiety and depression, while promoting healthy sleep patterns
- It improves concentration and mood owing to the release of feel-good endorphins.