If you think your child will grow out of their poor exercise habits (including not getting enough daily exercise in the first place), recent research suggests that’s not the case, much like many other habits ingrained early in life.
According to the study, more than 90 percent of adolescents fail to get the minimum 60 minutes of physical activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and teens in that predicament are less likely to exercise enough as they transition into adulthood. Here are some of the frightening statistics, per the study of 561 10th grade students at 44 schools:
- In 10th grade, students reported an average of 27 minutes of exercise each weekday.
- That average fluctuated between 29 and 27 minutes through 12th grade and into the first year after completing high school.
- Surprisingly, weekend exercise averages were even worse: only about 20 minutes per student throughout the study.
So, what can parents do to help teach their patients better exercise habits? In a Reuters article summarizing the study findings, University of Michigan Professor Dr. Venkatesh Murthy offered this advice: “The fact that these young people were more active on weekdays than on weekends highlights the potential opportunity for parents to get involved and encourage fitness activities over the weekend.
Poor exercise habits die hard, but the good news is, good exercise habits do, too. Talk to your doctor about ways to make daily fitness fun for the entire family!