Health: Kids Aren’t Getting Enough Physical Activity According To New Government Report

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By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New numbers from the federal government say most kids aren’t getting enough physical activity, part of the reason for the obesity epidemic. And it could even hurt academic performance.

With the snow and extreme cold, keeping kids active can be difficult. And now this new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s not happening enough any time of the year.  We found one place for children to have some action indoors.

Kids are busy playing and moving at the new Play Cafe in Bryn Mawr, some place warm for children to play inside on cold nasty days.

“Especially in the winter we’re stuck inside a lot of the day, so we have to have some sort of physical outlet or else I find that they’re crankier,” said Kate Etherington, a mother of two.

The new study from the CDC says only 25 percent of children ages 12 to 15 get the recommended hour of moderate to vigorous activity a day.

“This number is good, but we can do better,” said Tala Fakhouri, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Devon Friel has three little boys and says it’s challenging, but she works hard to make sure they get plenty of physical activity.

“If I let them play on the iPad all day they would. If I give them the iPad they would play all day on it, so you have to get them out and like get them away from all that,” said Devon.

Doctors say activity isn’t just good for kids physically.  It can help improve mood, sleep, and mental functioning, and it’s not just about playing sports.

“Walking your dog for a long period of time, dancing, playing basketball,” said Fakhouri.

“I meet a lot of people through sports, and I don’t like sitting around doing nothing,” said Kendal Chapman, a 13-year-old.

Doctors say the lack of physical activity is a big part of the obesity epidemic, so getting kids moving will help control weight.

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