WellSpan Health and York County Libraries once again collaborate on the 11th year of “GO (Go Outdoors) York!” From June 2 to August 19, the two entities will host activities that encourage reading and outdoor activities among children which shall combat physical inactivity over the summer.
Each year, “GO York!” has a specific theme which the hosts incorporate in the games. For GO York! 2018, the activities focus on musical instruments.
The participants engage in a letterboxing-like format where they must look for clues and hidden items. Around various parks in York County, there are thirty wooden posts which have rubbing plates, and participants shall rub the images on the plate onto their activity book with a crayon or colored pencil.
Regular physical activity is essential, especially to children. Summertime is the perfect opportunity for them to do various kinds of physical activity because they have all the time to themselves and they do not have to worry about other responsibilities like school work.
Children aged 6 to 17 must entail more than an hour of their day for physical activity as per the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. These include aerobics, muscle and bone strengthening activities.
Such events are encouraged because they develop a child’s movement skills. They also help maintain the ideal body weight during childhood and build stronger bones and heart. Not only does it affect the body but also the brain by improving hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.
However, some children choose to spend time indoors because of the advent of gaming and social media. A study by Ofcom revealed that among children aged 3 to 15 years old, those in the 12 to 15 bracket have the most number of respondents who own smartphones and tablets.
In another study, Peukert and his team say that gaming and social media addiction eventually leads to lack of outdoor interaction which causes a child to most likely develop anxiety, depression, and low academic performance, especially among teenagers.
Deb Sullivan, the community relations director of the York County Libraries, says that the activities of “GO! York” 2018 gives the parents an opportunity to make their children realize the effects of outdoor activities and social interactions. WellSpan also collaborated with other libraries and expanded the movement to other areas such as Adams, Lancaster, and Lebanon counties.