Attention US Citizens: We have a huge problem going on right now. Take a look around. Kids are out of shape. They are overweight. They are obese. How did all this happen?
Back in the day (I can say that now because I am in my thirties), activities were aplenty. If we weren't playing football, we were shooting hoops. If it wasn't basketball, then it must have been street hockey. And if we weren't doing any of that, then we were probably out on our bikes doing God knows what. Nowadays, 85% of kids live within walking distance of a playground. Do you think they are using them? Again, take a look around if you don't know the answer.
There is a childhood inactivity crisis and it is not just going on here in the States. Active Healthy Kids (an organization created to fixing this issue) did a little research. They identified a few areas to grade all participating countries, there were 38 of them, and continents, 6 of those. The areas they looked and results are as follows:
Now, if your kid came home with a D, what would you say to them? Some schools like the one I went to didn't even offer D's! For some kids, that D offers an out. Technically speaking, it is not failing. Your kid can come home and say, "but Dad, atleast I passed!" No, no, no. That shouldn't fly. It is not OK for your child to come home with a D on their report so it definitely shouldn't be OK for our country to be graded out as a D in regards to activity levels among our children.
So where did we all go wrong? As we have seen developments in areas like technology, we have seen decreases in activity levels. There are a lot of options for kids these days.
Automation, mechanization, urbanization, and digitization have reduced physical activity levels not only in our country but around the world! We need to do better. It starts and ends with the grownups who work with or live with children. Whether you are a parent, coach, teacher, guardian, or whatever else you may be, take a stand and promote physical activity. By doing so, you will help the future of humanity live a healthy and happy life!
I hope you all had a great holiday and Happy (soon to be) New Year!
Chris is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has recently served as a high school football and wrestling coach. Chris loves swinging kettlebells around, watching football and reading books!