More U.S. Children Need a Daily Dose of Exercise
One hour a day. That’s all it takes for your child to meet the national physical activity guidelines. Unfortunately, a recent government report found that too few U.S. children are reaching that goal.
Not enough exercise
To assess physical activity levels in children, researchers looked at data from 2 recent national surveys. The surveys asked children ages 3 to 15 about their physical activity. Because activity levels are better defined in older age groups, the investigators focused on responses from children ages 12 to 15.
What did they find? Only 1 out of 4 American children is fitting in enough daily exercise, at a moderate to vigorous level of activity. Of those children, more boys than girls moved at least 60 minutes on all days of the week. Sixty percent of boys and nearly 50% of girls did manage to meet the guidelines on at least 5 days a week. Favorite non-school-related activities: basketball for boys and running for girls.
A daily dose
Health organizations, such as the American Heart Association, tout the benefits of daily exercise for children. Sixty minutes or more of moderate to vigorous exercise every day can strengthen your child’s heart. It can build stronger bones and help control weight. It can even boost self-esteem and confidence.
To help ensure your child gets a daily dose of health-enhancing exercise, try these strategies:
Tuning Out Screen Time
Children spend an average of 3 to 4 hours a day watching TV. Add in technology like video games, tablets, and mobile phones, and they are likely logging more screen time than any other activity during the day, including exercise. Take these steps to help tune out screen time in your home:
Here are other ways to pry your child's eyes from the screen.
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