Study: Kids don’t get enough exercise playing team sports

Study: Kids don’t get enough exercise playing team sports

PORTLAND, Ore. – New research out of San Diego State found that your kids may not be getting enough exercise playing team sports.

The reason? They don’t get enough playing time during the games.

Out of the 200 children in the study who practiced soccer, baseball and softball, only 24 percent were getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity. The level for 11 to 14 year olds on a team was worse: just 10 percent.

About 44 million American children play team sports, including 13-year-old Lauryn Madison.

“In the game I get worked out a lot,” she says. “It’s really hard work running up and down the field.

But she acknowledges it’s not for the whole game.

“For a 44-minute game, I’d probably say a half hour,” she says.

Volunteer soccer coach, Bill Lagnion, says he knows there’s down time and says out of an hour, the kids are probably only moving for about half that time.

One sport and one coach can’t be responsible for a child’s daily dose of exercise, and Dr. Barbara Long, with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, says a team is only the beginning.

“That’s fantastic, but that’s once or twice a week,” she says. “You have five other days that you want to make sure that there are opportunities for your kids to be active within their school, within the community and within the activities that the family’s planning.”

The lesson for parents is to know their child’s daily game plan and how much more movement time they need to get in their child’s playbook.

“Thinking about movement should be kind of like brushing your teeth,” says Long. “You wouldn’t think about going a day, I hope, without brushing your teeth.”

Overall, the study found kids spent an average of 30 minutes being inactive during each practice.

The full report will be published in April.