June is Sports America Kids Month! During the summer children are encouraged to engage in a healthy lifestyle, including sports activities.
Playing one or more sports can help kids develop confidence, self-discipline, coordination, teamwork skills, and sportsmanship behavior. There are many health and wellness benefits that come from the physical activity involved with playing sports. Recent data from organizations such as the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show the need for a stronger focus on health and wellness among American youth:
- Approximately 12.5 million (16.9%) children are considered overweight or obese.
- Over 80% of children do not participate in enough aerobic physical activity to meet standard youth guidelines.
- One in three children are physically active on a daily basis.
- Children spend upwards of seven and a half hours a day watching TV, playing video games or on a computer.
- Overweight children have a much greater chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
Childhood obesity is a serious issue with both short-term and long-term effects on health and wellness. Obese youth are more likely to have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Children who are obese are more likely to suffer from bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and psychological issues like poor self-esteem. Obese youth are likely to be obese as adult, which will put them at risk for adult health complications like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, various types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
Keep kids active with organized team activities and free play. During the summer months, it is easy to get outside and explore. Encourage swimming, hiking, camping, bike-riding, tag, and even firefly chasing with your little ones to keep it fun. Remember, kids can still experience strains or sprains, so be careful to avoid injuries or overheating. Feel free to give us a call at 919.556.4678 for an evaluation if your child is experiencing pain with activities.
Some statistics and information from an article posted by Austin Sports Medicine in 2015.