For those who spend all day on the couch, watching television and taking no exercise, the English coined the witty term “couch potato” . And such slackers, adults and children, have in recent weeks multiplied again on Slovenian couches.
As early as September, sports experts warned that children were not physically active enough during the spring epidemic, and had gained weight as a result. The outcome of the second wave of the epidemic is unlikely to be any better.
The lack of organised exercise already has effects after a few weeks, warns Dr. Gregor Jurak from the Faculty of Sports. Already in non-corona times, children’s physical performance usually declined during the summer holidays. But not as much as now, during lockdown and distance learning. The children were left without physical education classes, without extracurricular sports programs and with considerable restrictions on movement in the home environment.
What can we do?
Exercise for at least two hours a day, advises Dr. Jurak. But your workout has to be so demanding that you start sweating and getting out of breath! Then you’ll definitely feel better and have fewer learning difficulties.
During distance learning, schoolchildren and students spending too much time in front of devices is a problem. It is necessary to clearly define the amount of time that a child or adolescent can spend in front of the screen just for fun, Jurak believes. He gives a concrete “formula”: the same amount of time that they were sweating while exercising before.
In many families, it’s not just children who are glued to screens all the time. Therefore it’s good to reserve a specific space for phones for all family members. The phone does not belong on the dining table during meals and in the bedroom, warns Gregor Jurak.
The original version of this article was published on December 1st.
English translation courtesy of JL Flanner, Total Slovenia News, an English language website with news from and about Slovenia.