Guidelines launched to enhance health of children and teens by Singapore

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On January 8, 2021 guidelines were launched to promote healthy lifestyle habits after it was found that young people spent too much time on mobile phones, laptops, got insufficient sleep and did not exercise enough. The guidelines incorporate step-by-step suggestions which give parents and kids on how to balance between using devices like phones and laptops and engaging in more physical activity.These guidelines have been made after a study was conducted by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. It  polled 100 parents of children aged 5 to 14 years. It observed that 43 per cent did not do any robust physical activity, while 32 per cent did not take part in any moderate activity. This was coupled with inactive stationary behaviour, with 25 per cent spending more than 10 hours a day seated for continued periods.In addition to this, the children were spending excessive time on screens. They were spending more than four hours a day whereas the recommended amount is maximum two hours a day. The survey also discovered that 70% of the parents polled were anxious about their children’s screen time, yet 41%  were not even aware of the recommended screen hours.These insights caused the healthcare professionals to make a set of guidelines for daily activities. One guideline these guidelines stimulate children to engage in various light physical activities throughout the day and to undertake an average of one hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity each day. The new guidelines also include recent research which was done on the efficacy of practising light physical activity and embracing good eating and sleeping habits.A workgroup developed these guidelines which was comprising the KKH-led Ipramho and the College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Academy of Medicine Singapore, in partnership with Sports Medicine Association, Singapore, Exercise is Medicine Singapore, Perinatal Society of Singapore, College of Family Physicians Singapore, Singapore Paediatric Society and Singapore Medicine Association. This set of guidelines will help to promote a comprehensive approach towards managing physical activity, sedentary period and sleep in a child which will encourage and nurture health of a child. 

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