‘Lets face it, keeping children sedentary for most of their waking hours is causing harm’

‘Lets face it, keeping children sedentary for most of their waking hours is causing harm’
In 2015, the New York Times reported that over a four-year period, the number of students in New York City public schools being referred for occupational therapy rose by 30 percent and that similar increases were reported in other cities. One of the reasons offered was the increase in the number of autistic students who had been mainstreamed into regular classrooms. Another reason was the increased emphasis on academics in early-childhood education, which has led to a lessening of physical activity.
This post looks at a related reason: When kids are allowed to play in school, the things they are allowed to do are restricted in an unhelpful way. This was written by Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist, author of “Balanced and Barefoot,”  and the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England. She has written a number of popular posts on this blog about the importance of movement and unrestricted play for young children, and how schools in many places have restricted physical education and recess and are making it harder for kids to move, literally, as much as they should.
In this new post, Hanscom writes about the restrictions that schools are putting on kids when they are allowed to play — and why “the very movements we are restricting children from doing to keep them ‘safe’ are the exact exercises” she thinks children should be doing for healthy psychological and physical growth.

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