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Get Kids Moving for Bone Health

Get Kids Moving for Bone Health

Millions of vegetable-avoiding, youthful, 60- to 125-pound children and teens are glued to digital screens and TVs, as their young skeletons fail to build the bone they’ll need to carry them through their next six or more decades.

Humans reach peak bone mass around age 20—and the years up to then are when youngsters need to be building and strengthening their skeletons with exercise and solid nutrition. Otherwise both boys and girls may develop osteoporosis by the age of 70 (or earlier) and risk life-shortening bone breaks.

According to a study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, boys and girls ages 5 to 20 who consistently watch 14 or more hours of TV a week have lower bone mineral content than less frequent watchers, no matter what their level of physical activity, calcium intake, or aging habits like smoking and (underage or legal) drinking. So lure your kids away from digital screens!

To achieve strong bones, a healthy weight, a great cardiovascular system and maximize brain-power, they need 60-120 minutes of moderate aerobic activity daily—and vigorous aerobics three days a week (suggest 20 hip-bone-protecting jump-ups morning and night). And get them walking the dog, raking the yard, playing a school or recreational sport, or swimming at the pool or lake.

Medically reviewed in December 2018.

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