Aiden Cruikshank, 5, at the Victoria Park playground Photo Rachael Conaghan / Morning Bulletin
Aiden Cruikshank, 5, at the Victoria Park playground Photo Rachael Conaghan / Morning Bulletin Rachael Conaghan

Obesity, computer kids and no active playing worries mum

ROCKHAMPTON'S Corena Rukiehn is concerned about childhood obesity.

She compares the time her grandchildren spend outside with what her own children spent, and is concerned about today's dependence on technology.

"The TV is sort of there to babysit them," she said.

"Kids come and say, 'I'm bored'. They've forgotten how to play."

Child development expert Dr Catherine Neilsen-Hewett agrees with Corena, and believes Australian primary school children are less active than ever before.

"Children today find themselves more often in sedentary alternatives - we see increases in screen time, they get driven to school, play computer games and have less freedom to play outside," she said.

Rockhampton mum Kristy Geisler's children do have access to Xbox and television, but she still makes sure they get plenty of time outdoors.

"It's called parenting. Make them go outside," she said.

Dr Neilsen-Hewett said active free play was crucial for children's development.

"Physical garden-related play promotes social, mental and physical development," she said.



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