Key to the door of child's life destiny

thumb male foto copyDuring its development, a child meets many people, who influence his life. For the most of them, the parents are the most important. Mother and father. These parents hold the golden key in their hands to (un)lock particular doors to the life journey of their kids.


The parents have a huge responsibility for the future of their children, which begins to form in the early years of their lives. Parents are not able to influence the whole life of a child but they decide about the concept of its upbringing in the family and form the basis of its personality and direction.

I had the opportunity to discuss these and other important topics during a meeting with leading Czech scientist in the field of anthropology and genetics, Doc. RNDr. Petr Sedlak, Ph.D., from the Faculty of Science of Charles University in Prague. Now, I'd like to share it with you.

For this article I picked the topics:

  • First six years of life have essential influence on movement potential of every individual
  • Consequences of low physical activity in preschool age on the physiology of the body, movement coordination and spatial orientation
  • Effects of obesity and latent obesity on the growth of a child
  • Elements which affect the growth of a child

From the list of scientific and observational focus, it is evident that these topics are important for the parents of all children, but especially for those who want to lead their children to the sport. So let's get straight to the point.

First six years of life have essential influence on movement potential of every individual

This is a very crucial statement, which should firstly touch the parents, next it should get to the pedagogues dealing with preschool education, and also to the pediatricians and coaches in sports clubs, who concentrate on the development of pre-school children. Logically, the parents have the most important role in their influence on children, the concept of upbringing within the family and the opportunity to development which they offer to their children. One of the main goals of Kameveda in the following years is to get the information to all parents in time and instruct them in understandable way. And what is it about?

Parents are the major element which determines the quality of the development of their children since their birth until six years of age. They control the development and education of their children by decision. They also take the whole responsibility for it and nobody can replace their role. Ideal case is that they bring up their children by themselves and they just lend the children to kindergartens or sports club in the second phase of preschool age. In the worse case, parents rid off their children in attempt to quit a maternity leave and get back to work. Then the result is only dependent on the quality of a nursery, where their kids are left. And when you consider the fact, how many kids belong to one pedagogue in those facilities, it is clear the kindergartens are not of a high quality and downgrade the development of children.

But when the mothers are with their kids on maternity leave, not even in this case, it´s a win. Many of them did not receive or absorb the essential information about the importance of early kinetic and intellectual development of their children. It is not so important who cares for the child but how much quality of care, love and development the one is able to provide.

According to docent Sedlak, the motoric development of a child concludes with the completion of the sixth year of age. During this period, when the child don´t move sufficiently and don´t fixate the general movement patterns, it will do more damage during intense physical drill later in his life. It's because his body is not adapted for such a performance. Such an individual is substantially limited in the area of coordinating and spatial orientation abilities. His motoric system, skeleton and muscles are no longer able to adequately react to high demands. A human body can no longer increase the number of extrafusal fibers in our muscle parts after the sixth year of age which become markedly loaded (it is inherited phenomenon during doing any sport or physical activity), which, in contrary, a child´s body can handle very well in preschool age.

To explain this even better, the movement potential of every human being is created by three blocks:

  • The first one is carried by the DNA after his ancestors. This potential cannot be changed after the birth of a child
  • The second one is essential in light of influence on a child. It starts with the birth and ends after the completion of the sixth year of age. In this period of time we can setup maximum parameters of future limited levels of particular values which define the motoric level of an individual. Omission of this opportunity cannot be fixed in future
  • The third block begins in the seventh year of age. Here we work with the residual space for creation of kinetic potential. An individual can still acquire anything and anything can handle. But the limits will always correspond to the performance level predetermined by first two blocks

Consequences of low physical activity in preschool age

One of the problems the current young population is facing, due to decreased physical activity, is the flat foot. More and more children are suffering from this diagnosis. The increasing number of such handicapped children is caused by decreasing physical activity. Numerous tiny muscles causing the arch on the foot is at a low physical activity unable to properly develop, so the foot stays flat.

It is necessary to strain the leg to avoid this problem. Walk, run and move in rough terrain. According to docent Petr Sedlak, walking on sand, gravel or stubble doesn't influence the foot arch as much as large-scale movement, walking in terrain, running and jumping.

Another consequence of the low physical culture and low movement practice of a child in terrain is the coordinating insufficiency. If a child doesn't learn to walk or run in rough terrain until the sixth year of age, later, this shortcoming cannot be fixed and the kid is sentenced to stumbling and blundering, whenever he finds himself in rough terrain.

Effects of obesity and latent obesity on the growth of a child

Nowadays, the children are much more overweight than previous generations. Even children, who, at first glance does not seem as obese at all, have a skeleton wrapped in a very low percentage of muscle, and again, the predominant part adipose tissues. This situation has a significant impact on a number of factors. The scientists have found that for the first time after many decades of welfare when the population have grown, now it begins to decrease again. But there is no reason for such an evolution. Nowadays, children don't suffer with lack of food, therefore obesity is marked as the main reason for this evolution. Especially for boys, this development is ominous. Overweight and lack of exercise at the same time burdened the long bones of the skeleton, which are not stimulated to grow by the movement. Inside boys' adipose tissue it begins to produce the female sex hormone estrogen. In part this is contained in boys during normal development but large amount of adipose tissue produces a larger amount of estrogen. Early hormonal acceleration leads to premature onset of puberty while the body is still not properly developed. Among others, obesity also causes that the boys aren't able to grow to a height that is encoded in their DNA.

In addition, there was found that current population of boys loses power, their pelvis expands and female sexual characteristics increase. After reaching maturity, it causes they have smaller testicles, reduced sexual desire and fertility. Obesity is not only caused by the decreasing amount of movement with sedentary lifestyle. Huge number of sugars, which is accepted in soft drinks and many kinds of food, do the harm, too. Docent Sedlak considers sugar as one of the most dangerous addictive carcinogens that threaten our population. Current developmental problems of children, which starts in preschool age, will not only result in a reduction in final height due to obesity, but also in an increase of mortality in adulthood from 50 % to 80 %.

Elements which affect the growth of a child

What most affects the growth of a child? Docent Sedlak claims the growth is not affected by food or by hanging on a trapeze, nor stretching of the long bones, as some parents or coaches believe. If we simplify the process of growth, it would be expressed as follows. The maximum height of each person is genetically determined with the birth. However, the range of final height is wide and it depends on few external factors. Even the environment and the way of upbringing can influence the final height up to 15 or 20 centimeters. Each individual can reach his maximum height only in case when its development will be based on ideal conditions. And especially which elements can affect the growth of a child?


During ongoing movement the cartilaginous parts of long bones are stimulated to activity (movement stimulates the creation of cells in the cartilaginous parts of long bones, and thus it helps to grow). Movement is the main element, which influence the growth and reached height of each human being. If an individual lacks movement, he cannot reach the maximum possible height, but only lower values (formula also works the opposite way - in the absence of movement the growth is not stimulated, there is lower cell production in long bones and thus the final height is lower). Extreme burden of immature individual could threat to reach the maximum height.

Enough sleep

According to docent Sedlak, a sleep is another crucial factor that determines the final height of each person. Every child should sleep at least eight hours a day, preferably more. The length of a sleep is related to age and gradually decreases with time. But in time of unfinished growth, it would not fall under the regular eight hours of quality sleep each day.

Within Kameveda we even deal with the quality of sleep, which depends on the ambient temperature set for the sleep of a child. We prefer lower temperature around 19 degrees Celsius, high quality blackout, soundproofing room and good circulation of vitiated air. All the electronic devices, which could disturb the kids or tempt them to watch it during time destined for sleep, should be removed from the room.

JUDr. Pavel Zacha

JUDr. Pavel Zacha
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