Thursday, February 28, 2013

Designed to Move


  It's become that obvious.

  Not to be overly dramatic, but our youngest generation is in a little trouble. 

  Why else has seemingly every organization formed, or sponsored, their own 'let's get kids moving' program?

  Thankfully, it's never too late to start chipping away at the problem, and inspire a change in culture.

  From the NFL's Play 60, President Clinton's Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the NBA's Get Fit, to First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move program (and so on), powerful organizations and companies around the country (and world) have seen the writing on the wall.

  Our children need an extra nudge to get moving.

  And today (Thursday, Feb. 28th), Nike threw their hat into the ring by joining forces with the First Lady, and others, to back and promote Let's Move! Active Schools. 

 Five Extra Years
 

Generation of Sitters to Generation of Movers?
  Schools are cutting PE classes. After school sports and activities are becoming less-attended, and less-occurring. Only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools and 2% of high schools currently offer daily PE, and only nine states require recess in elementary schools.

  Their play time isn't organized (at school). And their play time isn't spontaneous either ('pick-up').

  Their 'play' time has become sitting. Studies show that kids are spending an average of seven-plus hours a day in front of one screen or another. And even though it's been shown that children need 60 minutes of physical activity per day to stay healthy, only one in three kids are active on a daily basis.

  Kids' days are spent playing more and more video games, on the computer, and watching TV. Getting them moving has become a chore.

  What has resulted is a generation expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents, record high obesity rates among children, and a generally unhealthy lifestyle.

  Food and nutrition is one thing (as you know, I strongly believe that our food supply/system has been just as harmful as inactivity). But depending on economic, and other factors, each child's access to high quality foods can vary a great deal.

Encouraging Activity = Encouraging Success
  There's one thing, however, that does not discriminate: playing. Moving. Being active.

  In addition to the health benefits of an active lifestyle, research indicates that regular physical activity can improve test scores, classroom behavior and attendance.

  'Physical activity does more than create good health. It contributes to leadership, productivity and innovation. It lowers depression and crime, increases education and income levels, and generates return to businesses. It unleashes human potential, and this is what drives economies forward.'

  Given those potential widespread effects, Nike is making an investment in the future. In our future. Over the next five years, Nike will invest $50 million to help create active schools and physically active communities around the US.

  The First Lady and Nike are joining forces with a few of those previously mentioned organizations, and others (a total of 70 'experts'), to spearhead an agenda to get this generation their five years back.

Michelle Obama & Nike kicking off Let's Move! Active Schools.
  The program is aimed at providing simple steps and tools to help schools create an environment to get students moving again. Resources will be provided to parents, teachers and administrators that will enable communities to organize activities that will get kids moving before, during and after the school day.

  This isn't about working out, or forcing kids to spend time in the gym. It's showing them, or reminding them, that moving, and playing, is fun.

  AND healthy. 

  Not every child is destined to be a competitive athlete. But they can be active, and they can be healthy. And active, healthy children grow up to be active, healthy adults.

  The Designed to Move/Let's Move! Active Schools agenda is focused on maximizing human potential. And shouldn't that start with kids?

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