This is a hard time to be a kid. Everything they know as it relates to school, sports, and hanging out with friends has changed. As a parent, talks about screen time seem a thing of the past. I used to worry about striking the right balance between watching a TV show, playing a video game, and doing supplemental school activities online. Now, everything seems to be online – school, enrichments, hangouts with friends, and even reading books has gone to a screen in our house as opportunities to visit our local library have vanished.
Alarming CDC Statistics (these are pre-COVID)
- In children and adolescents (ages 2-19) the prevalence of obsesity is 18.5.
- The current recoomendations are that kids engage in 60 minutes of activity daily.
- A study published in the Lancet found that globally more than 80% of children did not meet these requirements
- In the US – 80% of girls and 64% of boys are not getting enough exercise
Regarding Youth Sports
- A recent survey by the Aspen Institute suggests 3/10 kids who have stopped participating in youth sports due to COVID-19 will not return
- The income gap has widened with kids in lower income households averaging 2 hours less of sport participation than their peers in higher income households
Youth Exercise and Bone Health, according to the NIH
- For most people, the amount of bone tissue in the skeleton (known as bone mass) peaks by their late twenties. At that point, bones have reached their maximum strength and density. Up to 90 percent of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and age 20 in boys, which makes youth the best time for your kids to “invest” in their bone health”
- Kids who miss out on daily, weight-bearing exercise like walking, running, hiking, skiing will have a lower peak bone mineral density as adults thereby increasing their risks associated with osteoporosis.
So Now What Do We Do?
The good news is, there are a ton of resources online to help spark some creativity around getting kids up and moving and away from their screens. This recent article from the Washington Post gives some great suggestions. In terms of making movement a habit remember:
- Make it fun
- Something is better than nothing
- Consistency is key
If your kiddo needs a bump in the right direction, they can always try my Tuesday 5pm Teen Pilates Class. Contact me if you would like more information or follow this link to register for class.