The impact of sport on children’s well-being
* Playing sports helps children learn to control their emotions and channel negative feelings into a positive way. It also helps children develop their patience and understand that it takes a lot of practice to improve both their physical skills and what they do in school.
Sport has always been recognized for its physical benefits. In recent years, research has also revealed that participating in sports can also have a positive effect on your mental health.
Sport can benefit children in the same way it benefits adults. The biggest difference is that when kids start playing sports at a young age, they’re much more likely to stay active as they get older. Studies have shown that sport has psychological benefits for children and teens and teaches them important life skills.
Playing sports helps children learn to control their emotions and channel negative feelings into a positive way. It also helps children develop their patience and understand that it takes a lot of practice to improve both their physical skills and what they do in school.
The case for maintaining an active lifestyle, especially for children, is strong. According to its benefits in disease prevention, longer life expectancy, improved mood, lower risk of depression and anxiety, and better quality of life. However, the pandemic and the restrictions that brought it about have highlighted several additional underlying benefits that can improve quality of life.
Against this backdrop, mental health experts from Qatar Foundation’s Sidra Medicine discussed how physical activity can benefit mental and emotional health.
According to Dr. Ahsan Nazeer, Division Head of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Sidra Medicine, a member of the Qatar Foundation, children who regularly participate in physical activity are more likely to achieve higher scores. in health-related quality of life surveys. not only in physical fitness, but also in mental and social well-being.
“Research has clearly demonstrated the positive effects of physical activity in preventing or reducing specific disorders such as anxiety and depression in children and young people. Sport and exercise can significantly reduce psychological distress and emotional turmoil while improving body image, self-esteem, self-esteem and self-confidence in young people,” says Dr. Nazeer.
“It is also a well-known fact that physical activity helps adolescents regulate emotions and self-discipline while encouraging the development of delayed gratification and building resilience and optimism. All of these qualities can protect against risky behavior, such as skipping school.
Unfortunately, while the benefits of exercise are well known, most children do not meet the daily recommendation of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, according to World Health Organization guidelines ( WHO). And this lack of activity contributes to more than 2 million preventable deaths a year worldwide.
“Many studies have looked at the relationship between lack of physical activity and mental health problems. In one study, those who reported exercising regularly were less likely to meet criteria for mood and anxiety disorders,” adds Dr. Nazeer.
However, even for children and parents who engage in regular physical activity, the Covid-19 pandemic has posed a whole new challenge, with lockdowns, social distancing and protective equipment regulations children are facing. limited options for exercise.
Dr. Albreiki suggested several strategies that can be implemented to counter the impact of Covid-19 on the physical activities of young people. “Parents should find ways to interact constructively with children by planning their chores, involving them in creative activities, engaging in indoor play, and trying to create a sense of normalcy in their life.
“Some activities that can be done at home include exercises like jumping jacks, standing squats, push-ups and sit-ups which help build core strength. And for kids who get bored easily, using home exercise equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes can be helpful,” he added.
Experts also say that culture has a profound effect on shaping communities’ attitudes towards physical activity. In some cultures playing a sport is more acceptable to men, while in others there is more emphasis on academic achievement. But ultimately, science shows that the link between regular physical activity and mental and emotional well-being is undeniable.
Qatar celebrates its National Sports Day every year on the second Tuesday of February, to promote sports and educate the local population on ways to reduce the health risks associated with an inactive lifestyle, such as diseases heart disease and diabetes.
On the occasion of Qatar’s National Sports Day on Tuesday, February 8, the Qatar Foundation organized many fun and engaging sports activities in Education City (EC) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The activities are free and open to the public upon prior registration.
To view the calendar of activities organized for National Sports Day at the Qatar Foundation and to pre-register, visit www.qf.org.qa/nsd2022 or download the Education City app via the Apple App Store for iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android phones. The Education City app also contains information about Qatar Foundation courses, programs and sports facilities that are open to the public, including on National Sports Day.