Getting Our Youth Active Again

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We have to be intentional about re-engineering physical activity back into our daily lives. It's so important now more than ever because we have an epidemic of not only obesity in our country, but really an epidemic of inactivity and we're spending upwards of nearly $200 billion now in health care costs due to inactivity and obesity so it's never one a every real economic issue but it's also a quality of life issue.

We know that people who are physically active, for our young people they perform better in school, we say active kids do better, so we know kids are doing better academically, they're, have more time on task, better concentration, they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, so we really call physical activity a positive gateway or a gateway behavior.

All the good things go up, all the good behaviors go up and all the bad things go down. From a youth stand point, the research is clear, active kids do better. With engineered physical activity out of our daily lives in many respects due to the advent of so many types of technology, but also in how we prioritize even how we build our communities, how we build our schools.

It's hard for me to find a parent that sends their student out to school, to walk or bike to school because they can't. It is not safe, the streets are not walk-able, bikeable and the like. Absolutely we need to encourage our young people to get out and play and we need to encourage our schools to continue or to offer quality physical education in schools and have recess and have before and after school, physical activity programs.

We absolutely have to do that, we need to have opportunities for our kids to go out and play, to have access to parks and the like. We' absolutely need to do that. But, if we think we're going to get them to turn the technology off completely, I think we are misguided. We know that kids are spending upwards of seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen.

Our goal is to change that passive screen time into active screen time. So we're really challenging that industry, the technology industry, to make more games, that get kids moving, and oh by the way, it would be nice if we help them learn at the same time. So, if we can marry learning, plus movement, plus gaming together, I think we will have come along way as it relates to technology.

Technology is not going away, gaming is not going away, video games are not going away. We've got to learn how to embrace it, and speak the language, for those young people that are so immersed in technology..