Getting Kids to Exercise




Childhood obesity is a severe and growing problem in Singapore. It is estimated that 34 percent of people aged 24 to 35 this year are expected to be diabetic by the time they reach 65, according to a study by Professor Chia Kee Seng, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. It is therefore ever more crucial to combat this serious issue from an early age.



Incentivising children to exercise


First of all, it is obvious that schools are not the only place that children get some exercise; physical education (PE) lessons cannot be conducted daily and schools only hold children for so many hours.


Parents should therefore take charge of their children’s active lifestyle, and incentivise their children to exercise. A reward-based system works for most children.



Try and see


Try to identify a sport which they most enjoy; exercising is not just about jogging or running. To find out what the kids enjoy doing, play different sports with them. Expose them to various easy-entry games. Shoot some hoops in the neighbourhood basketball court, grab a football for a kickabout in the park. Tennis and badminton are all fun activities and usually available as CCA in primary schools.



Watch the professionals


Should the child show some interest and proficiency in a particular sport, parents can bring the child to watch actual competitions. The drama and excitement of competition may trigger the child’s latent passion for the sport.