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Association of Play Industries

A Movement for Movement: Screen time, physical activity and sleep: a new integrated approach for children

Creative Play
Nature Deficit
Early Childhood
Mental Health
Public Health
Public Service
Created: 03/2019
Uploaded: 03/18/2019

Increasingly, interrelationships are being identified between physical activity
(PA), free play, sedentary behavior, discretionary screen time (DST), sleep, mental illness, body fat and type 2 diabetes, with some being bidirectional (working both ways). Yet these health issues are often presented as separate lifestyle factors, with separate bodies of evidence and debates surrounding each one.

The evidence presented in this report points to an urgent need to reconceptualize these behaviors not as separate components but as inextricably linked, joint 24-hour movement behaviors. Parents and local and national policy-makers must now work in tandem to ensure that all of the elements of children’s movement behaviors are considered together, rather than being seen as the responsibility of separate government departments and initiatives. This requires a far more muscular and visible public health approach, which may entail telling the public not what they’re interested in hearing but what is in their children’s best interests.

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