ASTRA Education: Physical Play’s Impact on Childhood Obesity

PHILADELPHIA, PA. – On Sunday, June 25, Kiril Alexandrov, co-founder of Gorilla Gym, gave an in-depth discussion entitled “Exploring the Link between Exercise and Childhood Development and Obesity,” during ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy. Tapping into the conference’s theme of Mighty Together: Inspired by the Power of Play, Alexandrov delved into how physical play equally impacts a child’s mental and physical development. The purpose of his discussion was to help ASTRA retailers in attendance educate and engage shoppers, so they can understand which toys are most important and relevant at what stage in their child’s life.

Gorilla GymKiril Alexandrov, co-founder of Gorilla Gym, spoke on the topic “Exploring the Link between Exercise and Childhood Development and Obesity” during ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy.


“We are facing the troubling trend of rising childhood obesity and all its associated problems ranging from the negative impact on a child’s mental and physical health as well as becoming a target for bullying,” said Alexandrov. “Yet there is one very simple way to help solve the problem and that is exercise. At Gorilla Gym, we plan to help retailers help the kids in their community get more active.”

Other salient findings discussed during Alexandrov’s presentation included:

• Brain imagining research has shown that iPads, smartphones and video games can affect the brain the same way that cocaine or opiates can.

• A 2013 policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that 1 in 3 kids use smartphones before they can talk.

• Kids who are obese are 65 percent more likely to be bullied than their normal weight peers exactly for their weight. They, in turn, are also more likely to become bullies themselves.

• Less than 9 percent of high school students met the 60+ minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity suggested for that age group.

• Physical activity develops and strengthens motor skills. This can lead to better academic performance.

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