COVID-19 and Our Children’s Physical Inactivity

The current state of affairs has brought our nation to a sudden and screeching halt, a complete shut down of the world we once used to know. From gyms, to sporting events, from small and large businesses, to schools, normal no longer exists. The adverse effects of this shut down will be plentiful. Among those effected are the children of America. Today’s youth already live an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and staying home for prolonged periods is not doing any favors for their physical activity levels. 

GYSA Founder, Devonte Woodson

Let’s take a step back for a moment. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic our nation’s youth were not the most active group around. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that ONLY 24% of children, ages 6 to 17, participate in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Again, this finding was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state-wide stay-at-home order. So, not only is it unlikely that 76% of children will start incorporating physical activity into their daily routines during this strange new time, but it is expected that the number of previously active children will fall as well. 

The CDC found that ONLY 24% of children, ages 6 to 17, participate in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day

According to the CDC the consequences of not being physically active include:

  • Energy imbalances which lead to increased risk of becoming overweight or obese. 
  • Increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Increased risk of factors for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. 

On the flip side, students who ARE physically active tend to have higher grades, better school attendance, improved memory, and more appropriate classroom behavior! 

“Unhealthy children become unhealthy adults”. Right now, it is vitally important to encourage physical activity in our children, and once school resumes, after-school sports programs such as the GYSA “School Sports Solution” (https://greateryouthsportsnv.org/school-sports-solution) will be more important than ever  for our schools and their students. GYSA believes in educating children at a young age about the importance of daily physical activity. By instilling this knowledge in our children at a young age, they will grow to be healthier, happier adults. 
We understand staying active during this time can be challenging. Below, GYSA has provided several tips for incorporating physical activity in your child’s daily routine:

  • Play a game of catch with a football or baseball outside (be sure to follow social distancing guidelines)
  • Work on your dribbling and passing skills by kicking around a soccer ball
  • Complete virtual home workouts, like Coach Woodson’s 15 Minute Daily Workout on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/greateryouthsports/live). Workouts are kid friendly and take place at noon each week day. 
  • Set aside one hour a day for any type of physical activities – avoid phones, the TV and other electronics. 
  • Avoid sitting for extended periods by taking a walk or just standing up and moving regularly – studies have shown that sitting for 3 hours a day or more can cut up to two years off a persons life expectancy!