Monday, March 10, 2014

Increased Physical Activity for Children Aged 12-15

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
Increases in childhood obesity has raised a good deal of concern and calls for solutions that are based in the home, school, and out-of-school/summer programs. Solutions include both better nutrition and increased physical activity.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that only 25% of youth between 12-15 years of age report meeting the 2008 national goal of 60 minutes of physical activity everyday. Adults at home need to encourage and provide additional opportunities for exercise. Schools need to do the same and reverse the trend of eliminating recess and physical education. 

Afterschool and summer programs can also help. However, because afterschool
Photo Credit: arc-experience
programs for this age group are not run like a single club where everyone does the same activities, afterschool programs can help by:

  • Ensuring they are offering healthy snacks;
  • Communicating the importance of exercise, including inviting influential role models to speak; 
  • Offering a greater diversity of program choices that involve physical activity such as hip-hop dance, aerobic exercise classes, yoga, ropes course activities, backpacking, biking and hiking clubs, team sports, etc.; and
  • Offer a greater diversity of programs that include culinary arts and healthy cooking, as well as nutrition and healthy eating.
Photo Credit: NHP Foundation

Below are some additional resources:

Photo Credit: arc-experience

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