See Dick & Jane Not Run

SMW, November 20, 2013 1:58 PM


"He calls on children to exercise for 60 minutes a day, focusing on activities like running, swimming or cycling."

Kids Less Physically Fit Than Their Parents

by C.J. Westerberg

Yesterday I had one of those phone conversations with a long-time friend about how times have changed since when we first met some 25 years ago.  One of his off-beat but related comments had to do with the film clips he recently watched having to do with the JFK assassination in Dallas.  Bear with me here but he mentioned that there was something that was so noticeable this time around some 50 years later. Disappointingly, it wasn't some clue as to the conspiracy theory.  Nevertheless, it was a curious observation and related to today's headline above.

He noticed how thin everyone was in the film clip including the parade-watchers (with a few exceptions).

I know  . . . this is a strange thing to notice and a weird connection to today's headline, but it's a true story.

Here are excerpts from today's CBS News:

Researchers analyzed 50 fitness studies that were conducted between 1964 and 2010, and found today's kids run slower and have less endurance than their past counterparts.

The 50 studies included fitness results on more than 25 million kids from 28 countries. Researchers specifically looked at results that could predict the kids' cardiovascular endurance, namely how far they could run in a set time or how long it took to run a set distance.

The data from the study:

Overall, kids were determined to be 15 percent less fit than their parents were as children.

In the United States alone, kids endurance levels fell by an average of 6 percent each decade between 1970 and 2000.

The U.S. has seen a surge in childhood obesity rates during this time, which federal estimates reporting a tripling in obesity rates since the 1980s.
Today, about 17 percent of U.S. children and adolescents are obese.

A festering problem (do check out this chilling documentary trailer "The Big Issue"):

Researchers warn these generational declines in running fitness may suggest today's children and adolescents may grow into unhealthier adults at risk for heart problems.

Consistent and sustained cardiovascular exercise as opposed to the more mellow kind is recommended. Plus, better grades may result:

He calls on children to exercise for 60 minutes a day, focusing on activities like running, swimming or cycling.

Children and teens who exercise may experience other health benefits: A recent study found adolescents who routinely engaged in moderate to vigorous exercise were more likely to have better grades at school than their unfit peers.

Related The Daily Riff:
Parents as Role Models in Fighting Obesity

Exercise: Miracle-Gro for the Brain  Improves Academic Achievement

Are Our Kids Sitting too Much? (Are We?)

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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
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