By Ken Reed

From a physical activity perspective our young people are in bad shape. Literally.

According to “The 2022 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth,” our children and youth earned a D- in “Overall Physical Activity” and a D in “Sedentary Behaviors.”

The U.S. Report Card Research Advisory Committee which developed this report is a sub-committee of the Physical Activity Alliance (PAA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The PAA was created as a result of a merger between the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance, the National Physical Activity Society, and the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. The PAA’s mission is to lead efforts to create, support, and advocate policy and system changes that enable all Americans to enjoy physically active lives.
The 2022 children and youth report card is another sign that our country’s children are still in the midst of a long-running physical inactivity epidemic.

There have been many reasons cited for this inactivity: The proliferation of video games and social media, cutbacks in physical education and recess time, smaller or no backyards in newer housing developments, parents driving their kids to school instead of having them walk or ride a bike, a drop in organized sports participation, etc. The list of causes is a long one, with Covid being one of the most prominent the last couple years.

Whatever the reason, it’s very important that, as a society, we find ways to get our kids moving more.

The benefits of physical activity for our young people are numerous. The Aspen Institute reported in October 2021 that active kids are one-tenth as likely to be obese, have up to 40% higher academic test scores, are less likely to smoke or use illegal drugs, are more likely to go to college, have less depression, go on to earn 7-8% more annually, have less illness during their lifetime and have one-third the rate of disability.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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