As schools across the nation return back to session, many of our children will be engaging with virtual learning platforms. As difficult as it may be to recreate a suitable academic environment, we cannot forget the physical activity needs of these students.
A home learning environment has a number of risks related to inactivity as well as lack of exercise.
For starters, many students would walk or ride bikes to school, which will not be necessary with distance learning. Secondarily, just the simple walking around class, up stairs and from building to building is exercise for many students. For those that would have had physical education, a significant amount of activity is obviously lost. Most importantly, the free play of recess is no longer an option. Moreover, in many districts, sports have been canceled altogether in the best interest of health. Therefore, it is very well possible a student could sit in the same chair, in the same position, for upwards of 4 hours in some settings.
I completely understand the need for virtual learning and have no doubt our education system will rise to the occasion; however we must also have a plan in place to get children moving throughout the day.
My biggest concern is not for those athletes whose seasons are delayed, it is for the non-athletes who will now have a significant void of activity and movement in their lives.
With this in mind, I have put together a simple and easy fundamental movement program for kids. CHAMP - Children & Adolescent Movement Program might be helpful for some students dealing with a deficit in movement while in an at-home learning environment. The program is meant to be inclusive and focused on the strength and flexibility deficits that I see on a daily basis. CHAMP has an emphasis on basic core strength, postural stability and flexibility. The program also makes an effort to be cognizant of the different skill levels of children. Lastly, I recognize the need for the program to be performed quietly indoors, with limited space and no equipment, due to the variety of home circumstances.
Simple - Straightforward exercises, with simple instructions and videos
Inclusive - Exercises that don't require much experience, space or equipment
Functional - Program focused on posture, core strength, and flexibility
Adaptable - Exercises can be modified to challenge experienced children
Efficient - Should take only about 15 - 20 minutes
Important: This program should not be attempted without consulting your physician to ensure your child is in good health and capable of performing safely.
Children & Adolescent Movement Program
Weblink with instructional videos: https://www.my-exercise-code.com/
Exercise Code: 9SNUP6P
Randon T. Hall, MD