Just 1 in 4 young teens meet U.S. fitness guidelines
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 10:00 AM
Parents should turn off the TV and take those video games away from their kids - at least for one hour a day.
New data suggests that young teens aren't getting enough exercise.
Only 1 in 4 U.S. kids aged 12 to 15 meet the recommendations - an hour or more of moderate to vigorous activity every day.
The results are based on about 800 kids who self-reported their activity levels and had physical exams as part of the 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey.
The Centers for Disease Control released partial results this week from the fitness survey, which involved kids aged 3 to 15.
The national results provide useful information for initiatives that aim to increase youth fitness, including the Let's Move anti-obesity campaign launched by first lady Michelle Obama in 2010.
Kids in the survey reported on which physical activities they did most frequently outside of school gym class - basketball for boys and running for girls.
While few met guidelines established in 2008 for activity that raises the heart rate and makes you breathe harder, most said they did at least an hour of exercise at that level during the previous week. Overall, about 25 percent said they got an hour of that kind of exercise every day
As with most issues involving children, the effort must begin in the home. Just as parents monitor their children's grades, they, too, should keep track of the physical activity their kids undertake.
And, schools can do more by not cutting recess and giving kids more time for physical activity. Research suggests kids who get physical education at school may do better academically.
Action now will reap great rewards as our kids grow into fit adults.