Incorporating Physical Activity During Online Learning
Have you ever noticed that after a long day at work, staring at a computer all day you feel cranky, sometimes your body feels stiff, or you have a headache? Well, the same thing happens with our children but it usually doesn’t require a full day of screen time to cause these negative effects. With Covid-19 forcing our children into virtual learning they are exposed to way too much screen time and it’s impacting their mental and physical health.
Now more than ever we need to be proactive in getting our children moving. During online classes children are in front of the screen for 6-7 hours a day, 5 times a week. Take every possible moment to create movement breaks and provide children with a minimum of 60 minutes of daily physical activity. The daily minimum required by the Ontario curriculum is only 20 minutes but in school there is more opportunities to get up and get moving during lunch and recesses. We need to recreate these breaks at home, during recesses have children go outside and play as they would at school, let them run, jump, and enjoy the fresh air. During lunch, go for a nice walk in the neighbourhood, if they have siblings play a game of tag, anything to get the heart rate up and their muscles moving. If you do not have an outdoor space or the weather doesn’t permit outdoor activities try some indoor movement activities such as yoga (mini yoga class video posted in another blog post).
At the end of the school day find a decent size space, indoor or outdoor, to do 20 minutes of movement activities. You and your child(ren) can take turns picking an exercise, such knee highs, jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups (push-ups off a wall for younger children), butt kicks, sprints, and so much more.
Staying active helps calm the mind and body and allows children to take a brain break from online learning.
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