Healthy Living: Most kids are lacking fitness


This content is from our sponsor.

During this unprecedented time, summer has looked very different for all of us and that includes kids. It probably won’t come as a surprise that nationwide only about 25 percent of kids were actually getting the recommended 1 hour of physical activity each day before the pandemic!

Allie Henderson is a wellness consultant with Regence BlueShield. She says, “Kids are spending less time being active, and more time in front of a screen.”

We know there are several factors that are contributing to this trend. Henderson says parents are extremely busy right now. They are juggling their own work, responsibilities around the home, and taking care of the kids. In order for kids to have independence, some parents are relying on screen time. Another reason for the decrease in activity is that youth sports, summer camps, community pools, and other centers are closed right now.

Henderson says, “These typical activities that kids would rely upon to get their physical activity are no longer available... Regular movement helps kids perform well in school and to build important social skills because they are interacting with friends and other classmates.”

Henderson says a lack of activity can really have long-term impacts on the health of a child, including increased risk of obesity and diabetes.

In Washington, roughly 11% of kids ages 10 to 17 are considered obese, now that is just slightly below the national average, but still, a statistic parents want to avoid. There are a number of ways to get your kids involved in physical activity, but Henderson says it really starts with the adults as children tend to mimic their parents. She says to be a good role model, you can do the physical activity by yourself and also together as a family.

“Choose things that you all enjoy whether its team sports, going out and doing outdoor activities like hiking or playing tag or even making household chores more active and fun or building obstacle courses are all good ways to make it a positive experience that kids enjoy and something that they are likely going to continue every day and into their adult years.”

Henderson says it is really important to shift the focus from weight loss to helping kids understand healthy habits, feeling good, and taking care of your body.

In addition to the physical impacts of screens, Henderson says spending hours in front of them can really have negative impacts on a child’s sleep and as a result, their cognitive function. So be sure to power down devices with enough time before bed.


This content is from our sponsor.