The Positive Influence Of Physical Activities In Children

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Many parents encourage their children to play sports, go outside or engage in some type of activity during the day. Physical activity is important in children because it not only has numerous health benefits but also increased motor skills, social competence, psychological well- being, cognitive development and emotional well-being of the child (Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, 2011). Since the child spends most of their adolescence with either a parent or caregiver, the influence they have is very important. Some parents do this for their child’s well-being, where others do it for personal gains. Physical activity directly correlates with the type of parenting styles, the encouragement of the parents, and whether or not …show more content…
Although most children enjoy physical activity, there are always those who just simply do not enjoy it, and forcing something onto a child, such as locking them outside to play, could have a harmful effect on them later in life instead of a positive one. Given the supposition that a parent cannot “make” a child be interested in physical activity, they can however, influence through positive experiences. To achieve a positive influence, a parent must provide autonomy to the child, which is the ability to function independently without control by others (The Glossary of Psychology, 2016). A study by Hasan and Power (2002) concluded mothers who provided less autonomy for their children had more pessimistic and less optimistic children with depression levels that were greater. So by allowing a child the freedom to choose their activity, it is giving them an overall positive influence on that specific activity. There are also two different types of activity, structured, which is activities such as team sports, clubs and play time during school, and unstructured, which is open ended (Hasan & Power, 2002). The more time a child spends outside is directly correlated with the child’s physical activity as well as that activity being during school or outside of school such as structured verses unstructured (Brockman, Jago, & Fox, …show more content…
They discovered that unstructured play, has numerous health benefits such as resilience to mental health problems, learning physical skills and social development (Brockman et al., 2010). Those benefits are not always seen in results regarding structured play. Also, by making outside time fun for a young child, positive memories of doing those activities are created. Encouraging children in the first five years of life to be outside could be life changing and beneficial to their health. Physical activity in children tends to create a predisposition to being active and outside later in life. Being in the outdoors has numerous benefits compared to constantly being indoors. According to Markam (n.d.) research shows children are calmer, happier, healthier, less likely to be overweight, have better vision, are better students and are more creative compared to the children who play with screens all day. A study by Zecevic, Tremblay, Lovsin, & Michael (2010) found “…there is evidence that parental support of child PA [physical activity] contributes to the maintenance of PA habits later in adolescence, at least in girls” (p. 1). In this study, they also examined the behaviors of 102 preschool children and had their families answer questionnaires regarding family sociodemographic and physical activity habits. The results were that those children

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