Grades From the 2022 U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth Aren’t Pretty
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
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman, and has a long involvement with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport (now called the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition). We discuss the state of college athletics today, given the pressures of NIL, the transfer portal, sports gambling and huge media contracts. McMillen then provides great perspective on the poor state of physical fitness our young people are experiencing today.
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Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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