The importance of physical activity for children
According to New York Times a recent study shows that on average, children spend about 8.5 hrs/day sitting. They sit all day at school, then at home doing home work, math tutors, piano etc. Even the kids who seem “busy” are often busy but inactive. Physical activity for children has scaled back tremendously since we were kids (climbing trees, playing tag, blah blah blah, insert your childhood nostalgia here). These days kids spend most of their free time indoors and online. Yes, I too am guilty for giving my two year old an IPad from time to time (moms need a break too! Don’t judge, how else would I have time to write this??) To make up for all this inactivity, we sign up our children for various sports, gymnastics and dance. It is not just an optional extra curricular activity anymore, it is essential physical activity for children these days. This is why we are sometimes boggled by parents who withdraw their children from dance because of school. Exercise is proven to aid in brain development and taking a break form studying to do something physical can boost concentration and thought process. Click here for a USA Today article on how physical activity for children can boost student performance read more
How much Physical Activity?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 60 min/day of physical activity for children and adolescents.
A recreational dancer on average gets about 1-3 hrs/week depending on how many classes they are registered in.
Part-time Competitive dancer gets the required average
Full-time competitive dancer trains beyond this level as a professional athlete.
Dancing really does make you smarter but any physical activity for children is important. Keep that in mind when signing your child up for extra curricular activities and make sure at least one of them is physically active. If you feel that something is getting in the way of school, reassess your child’s daily schedule and see where they spend most of their time. 1-2 hrs a day of physical activity for children should not be getting in the way for school work, something else may be the culprit.