Do children get enough exercise?

Diana K. Blythe, MD

Some children do get enough exercise, but most do not get the recommended one hour daily. In addition, the exercise should make our kids work. If they are just standing around shooting a basketball, the exercise is not as effective as running around the court while playing a game.

Current recommendations state that children and adolescents should get 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily. Unfortunately many children do not meet this standard. Children and adolescents should engage in aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activities daily to improve their health and reduce their risk of developing chronic disease. In response to the growing problem of obesity and diabetes in American children, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) has revised their statement on physical activity and now also recommends that children ages 5 to 12 get up to 60 minutes of exercise and up to several hours of physical activity daily.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.