Updated 01/09/2013 05:00 AM
Healthy Living: New study reaffirms kids' lack of motion
A new study reveals the negative impact that too much television viewing can have on children. Our Cheryl Wills tells us more.
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Four pairs of feet planted on the floor, eight eyes glazed over, and locked on the television screen. These children are all thumbs and that is all they need to play video games.
It should come as no surprise that a new study finds what many doctors and parents already know. The longer children are planted in front of a TV screen, the more likely they will be thicker around the middle and less muscularly fit.
Fitness instructor Monifa Maat specializes in getting couch potatoes moving without leaving the comforts of home.
"For kids who don't like to get outside, one thing we have to try to do is associate fitness with fun," said Maat.
Experts said it is important to get kids in motion. Researchers from the University of Montreal studied more than 1,300 children and found that too much TV watching specifically weakens explosive leg strength, which is an important asset for sports like soccer, basketball, and football. According to Maat, there are a lot of exercises kids can do right at home.
"Exercises during commercial break, right? Doing jumping jacks, sit ups, splits, they love these things," Maat said.
Matt, who is the author of "The Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow", said kids of all ages can get fit before they get out of bed.
"It's a series of calisthenics, resistance, and stretch exercises that increase blood flow, tones, strengthens the body, and also sheds calories," explained Maat.
Experts said parents should limit their kids television viewing to only a few hours per week, so young people can build muscle and get fresh air too.