How To Encourage Healthy Heart Habits In children
Rhett Krawitt, 6, and his sister Annesley, 8, eat dinner in their home in Corte Madera, California January 28, 2015

‘Move More, Sit Less’ is the most recent campaign of Heart Foundation to encourage Australians, kids in particular, to become more active and keep chronic health conditions like heart disease at bay. Not just that. This one will also help one to fight obesity and type-2 diabetes as well.

HuffPost reports that the rate of affected children is growing at a striking rate and as many as 8 out of 10 Australian kids prefer to spend their time on electronic gadgets and TV instead of meeting the national guidelines of a minimum of an hour’s exercise daily, says Mary Barry, CEO of Heart Foundation. The Heart Foundation marks World Heart Day with an analysis that shows kids aged 5 to 17 years spend daily at least an hour and 20 minutes watching TV and DVDs and 20 minutes for playing electronic games. The data from the Australian Health Survey showed that in comparison to girls, boys were spending much more time playing electronic games, at 33 minutes a day, compared to eight minutes for girls.

The group wants to encourage and facilitate active playtime in children as they have an in-built need to be active physically. “Whether this involves kicking a footy, climbing a tree or playing tag in a local park, taking the dog for a regular walk or hitting a cricket ball over the neighbour’s fence, these are all healthy forms of physical activity that we should be encouraged,” she said.

A recent 105.7 ABC Darwin post said, the Health Foundation is also taking aim at people with "grabbable guts" in Darwin, the capital city, that has the worst combined ranking for physical inactivity and obesity in Australia. "We [Darwin] are the most overweight and obese, and the least physically active of any Australian capital city," says Simon Dixon from the Heart Foundation.

On Tuesday, the Northern Territory Government joined with the foundation to launch its “Live Lighter” campaign that will deploy a Darwin bus wrapped with health messages and place health ads on radio and TV. This campaign covers several areas such as the damage caused by poor diet as well as physical inactiveness that leads to an unhealthy weight. "It’s time to take a direct approach and demonstrate the link between a grabbable gut and chronic disease," Dixon added.

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