Like most families, we have a few mod cons and gadgets around the house that the kids play with and use, but we do closely monitor the time our kids spend on them.
When my son, aged 11, has his mates over I’ve become alarmed at the first question they usually ask which is “can we play the xbox?” It’s not “let’s go to the park, or ride our bikes or kick the footy.”
My son is highly active training 4 nights a week for soccer, plus a game on the weekend, so I don’t mind him having some down time on his technology. When I asked my son why the boys all want to play on the xbox, ipads or ipods he showed me a small presentation he had done at school that relates exactly to this question. It was open, honest and relevant from the mind of an 11 year old and I thought I would share it with you:
These days you see everyone on their phones, ipads, ipods and x-boxes but do you know the truth about technology? The world is full of marvellous technology and people like me and my mates can’t get enough of it. Kids our age are constantly being told by our parents to go outside and play instead of being on technology. Sometimes that’s a hard choice because technology is addictive.
It’s addictive and harmful to your health and I will tell you why:
It’s fun - It’s fun because there are so many apps and games to choose from.
It’s challenging - You can get better each time to you play. You are always learning something new about the game. It gives you the competitive desire to want to win.
Makes you feel good - When you win, pass a level or beat your highest score, it makes you feel good about yourself so you want to do it over and over again.
Spending too much time playing on technology can also have serious effects on your health.
Unless the technology we use is directly related to fitness such as a fitbit or fitness app, everything else you pretty much sit on your bottom in front of a screen. The Australian Health Association recommends the children and teenagers need a full 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day to maintain optimal health. When children do not get this amount of exercise they are at greater risk of suffering from obesity and having physical developmental issues with their bodies as they grow. Cardiovascular fitness is so important for our heart to effectively pump oxygen and blood around our bodies.
If you sit on technology for too long you can also end up with eye problems, posture and neck problems. You can’t be sitting on tech all day. Eye problems occur when looking at a screen for an extended amount of time. Posture and neck problems occur when you’re not sitting in the correct position because when you’re on technology, you are usually hunched over looking at a screen.
In the society we live in today, technology is all around us, it is part of our lives and it is completely accessible. Technology is here to stay and we just need to learn how to manage and minimise our time on it. If we do not limit our time on it, I strongly believe that kids in my generation will suffer from physical and developmental issues.
Ask yourself – are you spending too much time on technology?
By Lachlan Fuller.