60 minutes of Active Play A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
ACTIVE LIFESTYLE FOR THE KIDS
The next time your bubba perspire while playing catching, don’t make a fuss! A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reveals that Active Play in any form of moderate physical activity that elevates a child’s breathing and heart rate, and results in perspiration helps build a better sharper mind. A sharper mind through increased concentration and improved problem solving skills helps in achieving better academic performance.
Let them run! Keeping children at home is causing more harm than any good we intended for them- that also means restricting television or any sedentary entertainment screen time to 2 hours a day. Young children below the seven years should be physically active for at least 180 minutes a day, children ages between 7 and 18 years are encouraged 60 minutes of Active Play accumulated daily.
What is Active Play?
Active Play is any form of moderate to vigorous physical activity that increases a child’s breathing and heart rate resulting in perspiration. Engaging children in Active Play helps to nurture a healthy active lifestyle which is beneficial for their growth and development. Johnson’s Baby advocate ‘60 minutes of Active Play a Day‘ that is aligned with recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At 60 minutes a day, this duration is achievable and can be accumulated- 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes at Active Play after school- this is ideal especially with the busy lifestyles of modern working parents.
Our recent interview with Dr Chong Shang Chee (Ms), Head and Consultant, Child Development Unit (CDU), National University Hospital, showed that she supports the benefits of Active Play; we also found out how important Active Play is and how busy parents can help their children to fulfil 60 minutes of Active Play a day.
BM: Are there any scientific explanations how a healthy body leads to a healthy mind?
Dr Chong Shang Chee:
- Physical activities help develop a strong body, in the form of stronger bones and muscles, as well as minimises incidences of childhood obesity in children. It will also strengthen children’s immunity against illnesses and infections.
- Besides building a healthy body, active play builds a healthy mind by improving the aerobic activity, in the form of blood flow and oxygenation, of the brain, and this helps with learning and memory, both crucial abilities required for academic performance. It increases neuronal activity, that improves overall brain activity and hence learning. It also brings cardiovascular benefits and produces quality sleep in children – both of which contributes to better concentration in class during the day.
- On the whole, active play builds a stronger and sharper mind through increased concentration and heightened problem solving skills, the results of which contributes to better academic performance.
BM: How do we introduce active play to our child on regular basis, and how to make active play fun and varied?
Dr Chong Shang Chee:
- Ensure there is an element of fun and enjoyment, and children will be receptive to play on a regular basis. Parents may even incorporate some elements of learning into play, such as mathematics (games involving some form of mental calculation) or science (identifying objects in a park that fits a certain description such as finding types of plants)
- Arrange play dates with other parents so that children can play together. This interaction allows them to tap into their imagination and create other games to play together.
- To demonstrate how active play can be varied and easily achieved, a basic jump rope can be used to create a variety of games, such as:-
Spin the Rope: One player will hold on to one end of a skipping rope, standing in the middle of a circle formed by other player. The player in the middle of the circle will spin the skipping rope in a circular manner on the floor while the other players will jump over the rope as it passes through them. Any player who trips or touches the jump rope is eliminated, and the final standing player wins and becomes the next person to spin the skipping rope.
Cross the mark: Two players, one holding each end of the jump rope, will place it on appointed body parts, starting with the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, chin and top of the head. The rest of the players will have to try and cross over the skipping rope without touching it.
BM: Can you please advise us how we can be actively involved in active play.
Dr Chong Shang Chee:
- Parents could get involved in the planning of active play games with their children and serve as referees or game masters. Or, they can be one of the participants in the games.
- The goal here is to ensure that parental presence and attention is given when active play is concerned, so that children accept that this is an important event of the day.
BM: What are the examples of moderate and intense activities?
Dr Chong Shang Chee:
- Examples of moderate physical activities includes leisure swimming and brisk walking, according to the Health Promotion Board (source: hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/508).
- Examples of intense physical activities are playing “toss and catch” ball games, playing tag with friends, a competitive game of Frisbee – all of which requires prolonged and/or intermittent bursts of physical exertion.
- As a guideline, moderate and vigorous activities should result in elevated heart beat and breathing, as well as perspiration, in children.
Johnson’s Baby launched the Active Fresh™ Bath and Powder with the aim of helping children stay fresh while playing outdoor. The Johnson’s Baby Active Fresh™ technology delivers longer-lasting freshness for longer playtime. The Johnson’s Baby Active Fresh™ Bath helps in eliminating smelly sweat on bubba’s skin and leaving it clean and smelling fresh while the Johnson’s Baby Active Fresh™ Powder fights odour by absorbing the sweat with it’s sweat-activated fragrance that releases a fresh burst of fragrance when in contact with sweat. It also prevent bacteria from breeding and also ‘sweat chills’ caused by sweat left to dry on bubba’s back.
Now, we can stop worrying and find more reasons to let bubba play longer outdoors.
DETAILS: Johnson's Baby Active Fresh™ Bath and Powder is available at all major supermarkets and pharmacies. Johnson's Baby Active Fresh™ Bath retails for S$3.45 for 200ml, S$6.50 for 500ml. Johnson's Baby Active Fresh™ Powder retails for S$1.50 for 100g, S$3.30 for 450g.