By Ken Rudulph

We all know that being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but according to statistics, most Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity they need for a healthy life. And the inactivity starts young. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey done in 2013, only 42% of kids aged 8-11 are moderately to vigorously active for 60 minutes a day, at least 5 days per week (the activity level recommended by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans). That number drops to just 8% for those aged 12-15.

Instead of moving and being active, children spend, on average, over seven hours a day sitting around watching TV or twiddling on other electronic devices. Time spent being sedentary only increases as children get older. And the result of all this sitting around?

Research suggests that along with poor diets, our country’s diminishing youth activity level is partly responsible for increasing childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes rates, as well as students’ decreasing cognitive and academic performance.

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