At a recent science convention in Texas, Dr. Tomkinson from the University of South Australia’s School of Health Sciences gave some disturbing information about a worldwide health trend.
Tomkinson et al found that kids today are 15% less aerobically fit than their parents were at their age.
“If a young person is generally unfit now, then they are more likely to develop conditions like heart disease later in life” states Tomkinson. Its troubling because cardiovascularly fit adults are less likely to have heart attacks and strokes. We are allowing our young generation to learn these bad habits and they are being setup for a life of disease and physical hardship.
What did the study show?
The research team reviewed 50 running fitness studies that spanned from 1964 to 2010, covering 28 countries and incorporating over 25 million kids ages 9 to 17. They found that children today take about 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their parents’ generation.
Childhood obesity has dramatically increased in Western and some Asian countries. And the team has found that a country’s fitness and obesity rates go hand-in-hand.
So what’s the cause?
Tomkinson has suggests a wide range of possibilities, with “about 30% to 60%” of the answer coming from “increases in fat mass” in children.
Another cause is an increase in sedentary lifestyles. There has been in increase in households with TVs, internet access and video games. Children are also less likely to walk, bike or skate to school than they were in the 1970s, at least in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K.
U.S. Health authorities insist that children should be getting 60 minutes of active play a day, but only 1/3 are getting that. Schools have cut P.E. programs and have left children to get exercise during recess or after school.
If you are a parent or relative of a child, motivate them to go outside and play. Go and play with them. Run around, get sweaty, and show them that exercise is fun.
My little niece is 2 years old and I want her to have a long and healthy life. Obesity and decreased aerobic capacity can cause many problems, and I wouldn’t wish that on my niece or anybody else. Please educate those around you, especially children.
In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before