How Virtual Fitness will help young people get off the couch

Child obesity epidemic

Children are our greatest hope for the future, but 1 in 6 children and teens are obese in the United States. This unnerving and frightening fact that has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the cold hard truth that everyone must face. Children are getting less healthy every year, and it's time we saw children's affinity for video games and virtual reality as an effective way to help prevent obesity from taking away our children's health. Can the lifestyle choices we make as individuals and families combat childhood obesity? Let's go diving.

It's a worldwide problem

Worldwide, there are 41 million overweight or obese children on the rise, according to 2014 data from the World Health Organization. Who or what is to blame? Many people point the finger at how children and families are becoming inactive. Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. from the Mayo Clinic recommends parents with children 6 years and older to get their children off the couch and exercise for at least an hour every day. But unfortunately, this doesn't apply to most children.

Only 21% of children aged 6 to 19 actually get the recommended daily amount of exercise. That's less than one in four! Now, what about the rest of the kids, you know, the other three bedrooms? They will likely continue on the trajectory to gain more and more weight. It's seemingly overwhelming and unstoppable - unless parents and adults step in with a fun exercise to combat it.

Children and teenagers sit more than they play

Children love to play video games, love sports, have a vivid imagination, are resilient learners and live to have fun! They would probably play sedentary video games all day if their parents let them, and some sort of game. In a 2009 NPD report, US marketing research showed that 12- to 14-year-olds spent the most time playing video games, of all ages, 10.6 hours a week. It's ten o'clock those teens could be getting the much-needed exercise.

That's not to say they don't exercise in school or gym class, they probably do. However, sitting in school for hours during classes, exercising during physical education and having snacks/lunch breaks, and then coming home to rack up ten hours or more by sitting in front of a video game and snacking it is not a proactive approach to improving a child's health. In fact, a 2015 sit-down study of girls observed that even 3 hours of prolonged sitting would decrease vascular flow by 33%, which would later affect them into adulthood.

VR helps teenagers and children to exercise

Be an involved parent and lovingly use what children love to play as motivation to exercise. Do not punish the child by taking away the Wii, 3DS, PlayStation or PC game. Instead, look for an outlet that's similar to what they're used to, like VR, so they get in on the action and have fun at the same time. The combination of physical activity and the immersive fun of a virtual world grab a child's or teen's attention as much as any fixed video game, making them forget they're actually exercising. We won't say anything if you don't.

Kids love learning about VR, trying it out and playing creative, interactive games. So why not let them strap on a VR helmet and do what they do best - play.There are amazing organizations like the VR Health Institute of Health and Exercise, headed by founder Aaron Stanton, that studies and provides the public with information about the physical benefits of playing VR games. VR for kids, thoughtful reviews and a practical guide that tells you which games and exercises will burn the most calories per session.

VR exercise improves health

In a Parents article, Karin A Bilich explains that children who exercise regularly will reap both short-term and long-term physical benefits. She notes that exercise keeps all of the internal organs, like the heart, circulatory system, and brain, in top shape. She emphasizes to parents that children need strong bones to promote growth and prevent painful bone breaks at an early age.

It is widely known that exercise can help reduce the occurrence of cancer, hypertension and weight gain. weight if a health intervention is quickly implemented. Essentially, what children learn to love, like exercise and eating right, can have a big impact on their health and well-being as adults - for better or for worse.

Start using VR today

If motivating your child, teen or the whole family to exercise is of the utmost importance to you, read the VR Fitness Insider Beginner's Guide!

You'll find information about the types of VR kits available on the market, the computers they are most compatible with, and other helpful tips on how best to incorporate virtual reality into your workouts.

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