A new study published shows that only 25% of adolescents aged 12-15 get 60 minutes per day of physical activity. Reasons for such a low activity rate are attributed to increased stresses in social life and academics coupled with increased sports specialization – kids who have been playing a sport don’t make their school or travel teams and drop out.
Without a good foundation for participating in other activities through good PE programs and/or access to outdoor areas for community free play, many of the youth simply don’t have the
Another research study by Tala Fakhouri, an epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that the 70% of kids age 6-11 meet the guidelines for an hour of daily physical activity.
“This drop comes at a time in kids’ lives when they are going through a lot of physical and emotional changes, along with increasing social distractions and academic pressures, says Michael Bergeron, executive director of the National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute, a partnership between Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., and the American College of Sports Medicine.”
Bergeron’s advises parents to expose kids to a varied menu of sports and physical activities to promote general fitness and enjoyment of a many different activities: “Kids like to have fun. They like to participate. A diversified athletic experience early on will give kids the tools and capacity to be functionally and regularly active in a variety of ways, with great dividends for the rest of their lives.”
Key Guidelines from Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: (http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/midcourse/pag-mid-course-report-final.pdf)
Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily.
- Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate or vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity, and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.
- Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
- Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety