Encouraging kids to play more?
From Sally S. Harris, M.D., MPH
My child likes a lot of sedentary activities, such as watching television and playing computer games, and is not very interested in sports. How can I encourage him/her to be more physically active?
There are many physical activities that a child can enjoy other than sports. In fact, some of these other activities are more likely to be sustainable throughout a lifetime. These activities include walking, cycling, hiking, dancing, rollerblading and swimming. A child need not participate in organized or competitive sports to achieve the benefits of physical activity. Younger children will enjoy active games played with other family members, such as tag and hide-and-seek. You may need to restrict time spent watching television and designate a specific period of time for physical activities. Be sure to reinforce positively the child's behavior when he/she is physically active.