I’m a big fan of technology. I think all of the computer software and smartphone apps have dramatically improved our lives. These devices can make us more productive and help us learn. They can even help us track our diet and exercise to help us improve our health.

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But computers, phones and tablets are not meant to serve as replacements for sports and exercise.

Technology should not replace sports and exercise

The constant use of phones and tablets to play video games and watch videos is especially worrisome for children. Maybe kids using these devices in moderation is acceptable, but they need to do it for very short periods of time. They must use some of that time to get exercise.

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Tips to staying (or getting) active with your kids
Let’s encourage kids to play with their friends

Kids should go outside and play with their friends. They can play basketball, soccer or any other sport. Younger children can play tag and other games. Any activity that offers physical activity is an improvement over sitting and staring at a screen. Ideally kids should get some sort of exercise for at least one hour each day.

To be fair, this advice applies to adults, too. Instead of spending hours moving pieces of candy around or shooting birds on your phone, go to the gym. Take a bike ride or walk with your kids.

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Playing outside could lead to healthier children
Is exergaming a high-tech solution for childhood obesity?

Technology should enhance our lives, not become or replace them.