Analysis: US Children Fail At Physical Activity

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(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – A new analysis has found that children in the U.S. are failing at physical activity.

A report card presented on April 29 at the Congressional Fitness Caucus briefing in Washington, D.C. gave children an ‘F’ on physical activity. This is the first U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, Live Science reported. 

For avoiding sedentary behaviors and for children’s overall physical activity, the country earned ‘D’s’. Nearly 54 percent of children spend more than two hours daily in front of a TV or computer for noneducational reasons and that’s why the ‘D’ in sedentary behavior was given. 

Also, only 8 percent of kids ages 12 to 15 get more than 60 minutes of moderate activity a day earning a ‘D minus’ in that category.

“Physical-activity levels in American youth fall far below the recommended level, with only about one-quarter of children aged 6 to 15 meeting the current guideline of 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day,” Dr. Russell Pate, chairman of the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) alliance and a professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina told Live Science. “Fifty percent of waking hours are spent in sedentary activity for children and youth, and this percentage rises with age.”

Ten indicators of kid’s activity levels were measured for the report, including their unstructured play, participation in organized sports, and their school physical education courses and community parks and playgrounds.

For the nation’s community efforts a ‘B minus’ was awarded with roughly 85 percent of children living in a neighborhood with at least one playground or park.

The analysis also found that only 13 percent of children walk or ride bicycles to school and related activities, which resulted in the ‘F’ being given in transportation. 

The NPAP is an alliance of nonprofit coalitions including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. NPAP along with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) created the report card concept concerning children and physical activity.

The findings were called “deeply troubling” by Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., who is the co-chairman of the caucus. 

 

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