By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The recently released 2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity For Children & Youth sheds light on the well being of our kids and what influences their behavior.
For overall physical activity, our kids received a D- grade: far too few kids were involved in moderate to vigorous physical activity 5 days each week with an F because only 13% walk or bike to school.
Only 58% participated in at least 1 school or community sports team but the better news is that 85% live in neighborhoods with at least 1 park or playground area.
Many factors influence healthy behaviors: school budget cuts curtail numbers and types of activities and more students attend schools farther from home, making after school programs less accessible.
Other reports note socio-economic factors: kids from more affluent families have resources for participation and educated parents who know the importance of physical activity can enroll their children in programs. Policy makers cannot ignore these findings.