Friday, April 15. 2011
Although a third of U.S. children are now overweight or obese, a new survey from the YMCA of the USA discovered that only 15 percent of parents rank overall physical health as the top concern for their children, while almost 75 percent of children ages 5 to 10 do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise.
The survey included almost 1,600 parents with children between the ages of 5 and 10. In it, respondents indicated that the economy has created financial challenges and time constraints that make it difficult for many families to find time for exercise and healthy home environments. In fact, 43 respondents said their children's financial security was their top concern, followed by education, and moral and ethical values. Physical activity came last on the list.
Parents may also be too burned out to encourage physically active family time. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they spent family time with their kids watching television, while 53 percent said leisure time with their kids included computer time and playing video games.
"The Y knows parents struggle to find the time and resources to incorporate physical activity and healthier habits into their kids' daily routine," said Lynne Vaughan, the senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Y-USA. "But getting active doesn't have to require a lot of time and resources."
According to USA Today, there are simple ways a parent can get their child moving. For instance, allowing them to help with household chores such as mopping or shoveling can get their blood pumping, while the source said establishing a family "green hour" each day to play outside can also encourage kids to burn calories.
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