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Fidgeting Kids are Good!

Fidgeting Kids are Good!

Have you ever noticed how children tend to be naturally active? Spontaneously on the move? You’ve seen them, at the end of a conversation with you, running off and doing cartwheels. Or breaking out in a dance to some music in their own head. Or jumping off of the couch, doing an unimposed round of jumping jacks. This behavior reflects the fact that kids’ exercise patterns are different from adults.

Whereas adults will work out for an hour, then call it a day, according to Dr. Memhet Oz, “the natural tendency of a child — the way their metabolism and bone structure and everything else is designed — is to be active all day long. They’ll get up and do somersaults and wrestle for five minutes and then they’ll stop and lie around for an hour. Then they’ll do the same thing over again.” This explains why, when we try to make children operate within a grown-up model of exercise of, say, hiking for an hour, they might get restless, bored, and, overall, not be into it. Their natural tendency leads them to play chasing games like tag, where there are bursts of exertion, followed by periods of rest.

Many schools include physical fitness in their curriculum a couple of times a week. However, many others have cut out PE, due to shrinking budgets. Whatever the case, it’s important to include plenty of healthy movement and exercise in your child’s routine. Instead of getting frustrated by those cartwheels in the living room, know that your kid is just being a kid. Also, get the whole family moving in ways that kids can enjoy–short bike rides, walking short distances instead of driving them, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Helping your kids stay fit is one of the best ways to protect them from obesity and the long list of diseases that accompany it.

Read more: Children, Family, Fitness, Health, Healthy Schools, ,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.

95 comments

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6:38AM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

I suppose this is culture-specific.

6:38AM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

I used to be a fidgety kid and all my Mum's friends claimed they had never seen such a bad child.

6:36AM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

Rubbish!

10:02AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Fidgety kids are great, as long as they're not near me when I'm trying to concentrate!

2:14PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

I think activity level really varies from child to child. It's not a one-size-fits-all.

2:14PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

I think activity level really varies from child to child. It's not a one-size-fits-all.

6:59AM PST on Mar 7, 2012

heard if kids fidget, they're labeled as being ADD or ADHD.

3:54AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

This is why I want to home educate my children. Not to "protect them from obesity and the long list of diseases that accompany it" (there is no evidence for either of these claims), but so they are free to be kids for longer. School is an invention of the factory owners of the industrial revolution. It perfectly trains children to work silently and obediently at repetitive tasks, which isn't at all what I envisage for their future. Children should be allowed to be children!

1:18AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

Thanks.

7:11AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Let them Fidget in YOUR house...NOT in restaurants,shops,plane etc....THAT would be a blessing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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