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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 216-217

Substituting screen time and sedentary behavior with physical activity among young children


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council; Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet Taluk, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet Taluk, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission03-May-2019
Date of Acceptance07-Jun-2019
Date of Web Publication05-Aug-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet Taluk, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_30_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Substituting screen time and sedentary behavior with physical activity among young children. Int J Health Allied Sci 2019;8:216-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Substituting screen time and sedentary behavior with physical activity among young children. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Aug 20];8:216-7. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2019/8/3/216/263945



Sir,

Physical inactivity has emerged as one of the most common risk factors accounting for global deaths and carries a significant share in the development of overweight and obesity.[1],[2] There are no doubts that the phase of early childhood is quite important not only from the perspective of physical and cognitive development but also because this is the time when habits are formed.[1] Thus, it becomes quite important that apart from acquiring various healthy lifestyles, children should indulge in at least some form of physical activities.[1],[2] It has been reported that inadequate physical activity can be attributed to the death of 5 million individuals across all age groups annually.[3]

The available global estimates indicate that close to 25% and 80% of adults and adolescent are not physically active till the desired standards, and this becomes a major public health concern.[3] Further, it is quite surprising that no similar kinds of estimates are available for the younger children till date.[3] In fact, having such kind of an estimate for children will play a significant role in ensuring improvement in the physical activity, reduction in the sedentary lifestyle, and maintaining an ideal sleep time, which, in turn, will minimize the chances of development of obesity in childhood and obviously the associated lifestyle diseases, including mental well-being in future.[3],[4]

In order to deal with this problem, the group of experts has released a set of recommendations with an aim to enhance physical activity and reduce screening time.[3] It has been proposed to study the distribution of daily hours among children in different activities.[1] The best approach is to revise the overall pattern of activities in a day and that can be accomplished by substituting restrained or inactive screen time with more of playful activities and simultaneously ensuring that the young children are not deprived of quality sleep time.[1],[3] In fact, instead of children watching mobile phones/televisions, they can be engaged in recreational activities (namely reading, storytelling, puzzle, etc.), which play a major role in the development of a child.[3],[4],[5]

In order to make things clear, specific recommendations have been proposed for infants and children in the age group of 1–2 years and 3–4 years.[1] Infants should be physically active multiple number of times in a day, should not be restrained for more than 1 h at a stretch and should sleep for at least 15 h in a day.[3] For the children in the age group of 1–2 years, they should spend 3 h time in a wide range of physical activities and should sleep on an average 13 h/day.[1] Similar recommendations also apply to the children belonging to the age group of 3–4-years, except that they should spend at least 1 h in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity throughout the day.[1] It is quite obvious that the implementation of these recommendations will play a big role in contributing to the motor and cognitive development of children.[3],[5]

In conclusion, if we want to accomplish optimal health of everyone, the change should start right from infancy, and our aim should be to ensure a shift from sedentary time to active playtime and at the same time, sleep time should be safeguarded.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. To Grow up Healthy, Children Need to Sit Less and Play More. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/24-04-2019-to-grow-up-healthy-children-need -to-sit -less-and-play-more. [Last accessed on 2019 May 03].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Childhood obesity: A determinant of adolescent and adult hypertension. Int J Prev Med 2014;5:S71-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Sleep for Children Under 5 Years of Age. Geneva: WHO Press; 2019. p. 1-18.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Assisting the World Health Organization to effectively tackle the problem of childhood obesity. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:319-20.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
Ashton JJ, Beattie RM. Screen time in children and adolescents: Is there evidence to guide parents and policy? Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2019;3:292-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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