Social Factors In Designing For Children
May 17, 2013 9:34:40 AM
With the growing epidemic in obesity in children and adults it is time to rethink our societal habits and norms that promote it. I speak from my own observations in and around my own life. I see that a young family member is becoming obese and know it can be reversed for him and many others. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend of the family, we all need to be accountable when we see things going in the wrong direction. It is our duty for the sake of the children’s welfare to say something or at least broach the subject or offer suggestions in a non offensive way. The problem these days is that many kids are not getting the exercise that they need. Why not? There are many reasons why this happens. Perhaps kids do not have an active or proactive parent to go outside and monitor they’re play? Let’s face it, time is a huge factor in most cases where kids don’t have ample opportunity to play and exercise outdoors. There are also circumstances in which it isn’t safe for children to play outdoors either. This problem can be easily remedied if they have to play indoors some of the time. Instead of buying video games that keep the kid’s sedentary, look for games that force them to be active. Better yet, schedule play dates regularly that involve activity, even if the kid’s play active video games together, at least they are moving. It is time to look at the video games that we get our kids and make better choices, especially if they are heading towards dangerous territory where their weight is concerned. On another note, I think it is time for manufacturers to make treadmills that children can use with the supervision of the parents. Maybe all that needs to be done is to retrofit the adult treadmills so that it includes attachments for children to grip the rails? Of course, depending on the child’s age and capabilities they still may need adult supervision to make sure the treadmill is not played with and used safely. (That’s a hint for anyone out there who is an inventor or entrepreneur). What does this have to do with design? I am getting to that. As a suggestion when it comes to kids and planning a child’s room is to also include a reading area if possible. It would be nice to include a club chair or other comfortable chair that can be put in their room next to a bookcase of books that they can read during their leisure time. A bed is not a good place to read, in my opinion, because the bed promotes sleeping and may lead towards inactivity in the long run. A desk and chair is not as comfortable for reading for leisure because it can be a reminder of school, therefore a reminder of work. We do not want children to equate reading for leisure as a form of work. We should choose seating for reading that we would be comfortable reading for leisure, after all children have the same needs to be as comfortable as we do. A comfy chair by a window with a bookcase is ideal. These were just a few things I wanted to speak about involving children because not every child gets to grow up in an affluent family in which the parent’s are already are aware of these things. Have a good weekend everybody!!
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