Ahhh… It’s here! the warmer weather is upon us and it is now that we start to think about getting back to the beach and the great outdoors. For some it’s nippers season and for others, lazy days in the sun. Bliss!
As we come out of hibernation, the walking paths are full of pedestrians and prams, bikes and trikes and the parks full of picnickers and ball games. This is what I truly love about the great southeast – our amazing environment and weather at its best.
If the early sunrise is still not beckoning you from under the covers then let me share some stats that might… The Queensland Department of Health recently undertook a study, “The Health of Queenslanders – Report of CHO QLD” to see how the Gold Coast ranked in both adult and childhood obesity. Whilst the stats show that we have not differed from earlier surveys (Adults in 2011 and Children in 2015), sadly we have not improved at all. In fact, the results show that 52 per cent of adults aged 30-44 years and 27 per cent of children aged 5-11 years are overweight or obese. This is directly related to risk factors such as a lack of whole foods in the diet, lack of physical activity and too much screen time.
HOW DO KIDS RANK?
An overwhelming 61 per cent of Gold Coast kids are not meeting recommended daily activity levels while 38 per cent of Queensland children exceed recommended screen time. Queensland Health found that younger children are more active Meanwhile boys and older children are exceeding screen time.
WHAT ABOUT ADULTS?
The stats are only worse for grown ups as 94 per cent are not meeting the recommendations of veggie consumption and 40 per cent are not eating sufficient fruit. Only 38 per cent (which is still too high) are not meeting recommendations for physical activity.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
So, what does this all mean? As parents, it is up to us to set the example and lead the way. Not only does our health depend on it – our kids’ health does too. How can we be the example and what small steps can we make in September to shift some of these stats for not only our family but for our entire community?
- Get outside. Start walking 10,000 steps a day and get the kids on their scooters, bikes, skateboards (not hover, boards – we want them to move!)
- Be inclusive. Invite your extended family, friends and neighbours to join you. Let’s get the community involved in our movement for movement!
- Make better choices at the supermarket with less processed foods and more wholefoods. Fruit and veggie markets are a great place to spend weekend mornings.
- Learn some new recipes. Get the kids in the kitchen and let them help prepare a salad, fruit skewers or a meal.
- Time out from the screen – big and little screens! Have a NO screen period each day with the entire family. Use that time to get outdoors and play with the dog or frisbee or be in the garden or parks.
Small changes this month can be the start of creating new habits. Make a family plan and get the kids involved. If the result is better health and a feeling of renewed energy, the journey will be worth it. Start in September and let’s change the stats!