With diabetes, obesity and stress on the rise in children, it's more important than ever for families and schools to find creative ways to help kids stay active and be healthy. When you consider that kids need a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity EVERY DAY to grow up to be a healthy weight, some days that might seem hard to achieve.
More active, better brains
There is an increasing amount of research emerging that shows that kids who are more active show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active. Yet best estimates are that less than half of kids in America are meeting the evidence-based 60-minute minimum guideline set by the Office of Disease Control and Prevention.
School-based PE programs are not the answer
If you think that your child is getting exercise through their school-based physical education program, think again. Some points to consider
- Even with the highest quality physical education program, 60 minutes per day of physical activity that is health enhancing is nearly impossible to achieve. In the best-possible scenario, physical education classes are likely to provide only 10-20 minutes of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity per session.
- Pressures on education systems to improve standardized test scores have had the unintended consequence of reducing or eliminating physical education. In fact, a study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that almost seven in 10 parents say their child’s school does not provide daily physical education.
While the school environment is key to providing physical activities for kids, schools alone cannot implement all the programs required to achieve a healthy future generation. Teachers, families, neighborhoods, and community programs have to work together to provide additional opportunities for physical activity.
Systematic implementation of dedicated classroom physical activity breaks, partially structured recess, before- and after-school programming and commitment to family exercise time, will help kids meet the 60 minute daily minimum.
A common belief is that, the earlier in life we instill important health behaviors, the greater the impact will be on lifelong health. Sadly, the proportion of youth who meet the 60-minute minimum declines with advancing age. Therefore giving them exposure to foundational exercises at a young age gives them the tools that they can continue to build upon through adolescence.
The great news is that a combination of acute bouts of activity and steady sessions together can provide adequate daily physical activity that improves cardiovascular health, metabolic health, brain and mental health, and musculoskeletal health.
One more tool in your toolbox
The SAYAZU game is one tool in the educator, parent or program coordinator’s toolbox to ensure improvements in our children’s health, development and academic performance. Parents, teachers, afterschool program and camp counselors can use this game at home, at camp, in the playground, or in the classroom to get kids moving, help them learn basic exercises and have fun as they work towards their daily minimum requirements.
This game is great indoors, outdoors, on a warm sunny day or in the cold of winter. Kids can play alone, compete against a friend or sibling, or take on mom or dad.
Launching soon on Kickstarter
We will be launching this game on Kickstarter soon. As part of our pre-launch phase, we are giving away 10 Sayazu games, 2 each week in the month of March. If you'd like to be notified of our Kickstarter launch and be entered to win, sign up for our newsletter using the form below AND LIKE our Facebook page. We will randomly choose a winner through our newsletter list and announce the winner on Facebook. We look forward to sharing this game with you.
- Effects of the FITKids Randomized Controlled Trial on Executive Control and Brain Function, Pediatrics July 2014
- Physically fit kids have beefier brain white matter than their less-fit peers, Illinois News Bureau August 2014
- How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains - New York Times, October 8, 2014
- Poll finds lack of physical education in public schools a concern of parents, December 2, 2013
- Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation (Institute on Medicine)