School-aged children may be pulling A’s and B’s on their academic report cards, but, according to 2018 U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, developed by the National Physical Activity Plan, most U.S. kids are getting C’s and D’s when it comes to physical activity and fitness.
According to the group’s 2018 report, overall physical activity, sedentary behaviors and active transportation (such as skating or bike riding) were graded D – meaning kids were not getting much exercise. Organized sports participation and physical fitness pulled C’s. Not very impressive at any level.
Compare this with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control that children and adolescents ages six to 17 years complete 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. the CDC adds that most of this should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least three days a week.
Kars4Kids doesn’t like those grades and aims to turn the situation around. We are launching a campaign to get kids off the couch and into the great outdoors by giving away 50 27-speed Delia hybrid bikes this spring. These bikes are specially built to be comfortable on city streets or mountain trails.
To enter the giveaway, teens ages 14 to 19 can visit our Hit the Road page and share their fitness goals. If they don’t know where to start, we’ve posted some articles to help. We’ll be giving away three bikes a week from March 22 to June 21. One entry is all it takes. Winners will be notified by email, and the bikes will be shipped anywhere in the continental U.S.
Bike riding not only provides the aerobic exercise the DHS recommends, it contributes to the muscle-strengthening activity that the agency recommends engaging in three days a week. Bone-strengthening activity, such as weight lifting, is recommended on the other three days.
Physically active youth have higher levels of fitness, lower body fat, and stronger bones and muscles. Physical activity also has brain health benefits for school-aged children, including improved academic performance and reduced symptoms of depression. Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence also provides the bedrock for lifelong health and well-being and preventing risk factors for various health conditions like heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes.