Does Playing Sports Mean Your Kids Get Enough Exercise?

I would have thought so.  If my kids were signed up for soccer or baseball, I would imagine that when they practiced that they met the daily expectations for kids.  (I’m pretty sure that the 1 mile run plus 75 minute swim practice for my daughter meets the requirements, but…)

The government’s guidelines for physical activity are that children get 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity.

What do you think?  In a 90-minute practice, would your kid get 60 minutes of activity? 

Unfortunately, the answer is no.  In a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine:

  • Kids were only getting 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity (which was 46% of their practice time).
  • Only 24% of those monitored met the goal.
  • Soccer was more active than baseball which is more active than softball.

In another study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, it showed the there are only 16 minutes of exercise seperates fit and unfit kids and that boys get more exercise than girls. 

Should you plan differently?

Should coaches train differently?

I’m not sure, but it puts an interesting spotlight on something that I for one would have taken for granted.

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