Daily exercise does not just prevent obesity and high blood pressure; it also helps fight the smoking habit. Kids getting more than 2 hours of exercise out of school hours have a healthier lifestyle, get better grades and read more books
Playing sports helps academic performance and increases reading. Physical activity is not just a cure against high blood pressure and obesity; it’s also good for grades. The data also dispels the myth that playing sports and studying don’t go hand-in-hand. In fact sporty kids achieve a better performance in school than inactive ones: 56.5% of the former claim to “get good grades” compared to 40.3% of the latter. Kids taking more than 2 hours of physical exercise outside school hours have a healthier lifestyle, perform better in school and read more books.
«At least one hour a day»
It looks like playing sports triggers a virtuous circle among teens aged 13-14. A teenager at this age should take at least one hour of physical activity every day. This does not necessarily mean playing a competitive sport, it could just be running in a park. Exercise is crucial at this stage in teenagers’ development, all the more so given kids’ inactive lifestyle and unhealthy, high-calorie eating habits.
Healthy food, less smoke
Playing sports at 13-14 doesn’t just improve kids’ relationship with books. 50% of active teenagers – i.e. those who take more than 2 hours of exercise a week in addition to what they get at school – claim to have a richer, more varied diet. Inactive kids, on the other hand, don’t have such healthy eating habits. The same goes for breakfast: 63% of active kids claim they never skip breakfast, which is one of the most important meals of the day. Those who play sports also need less dieting: 24% compared to 30%. In addition, a lower percentage of sports-playing kids smoke cigarettes – 30.8% compared to 35.4% of sedentary kids – or claim to have had at least one experience smoking drugs (9.1% vs. 5.8%).
Less time spent in front of a screen
More exercise obviously means less time spent watching TV. The activities sports take the most time away including the Internet and watching TV. This is an important additional benefit, especially considering the consequences that overuse of these media may produce among teens.» Among sporty kids there is a lower number of boys and girls who spend more than three hours a day in front of the TV: 19% compared to 16%. Those who spend their time on the Internet also plunge from 21% to 14%. The virtual world vs. the real world.
Steven Cabot & Dominic Valentini
Team excellence managers for TeamArtist
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