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September 2, 2015

Watching less TV won't make kids exercise more

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 7th 2007 8:04AM
Television Kids EatingI love science. It allows you to say commonsensical things, but with proof. The latest non-revelation to be offered by researchers is that switching off the television does not guarantee that children will exercise. A four-year study of more than 10,000 American children ages 10 to 15 found no correlation between the amount of time spent watching television and the amount of time spent engaged in vigorous activity.

According to the study, long hours spent watching television has contributed to the obesity epidemic among children, but killing your television won't reverse the trend. Watching TV and physical exercise are not "functional opposites." If they were, everyone would be on a "no television" diet.

Kids, feel free to keep this study in your back pocket. You can whip it out whenever your parents tell you to turn off the TV in the hopes of motivating you to engage in "vigorous activity." I believe that speech goes, "It's a beautiful day outside. What are you kids doing in here? When I was your age...blah blah blah...get a job."

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They key is kids exercise and parent involvement. Kids who participate in regular exercise and limit time in front of the television are much less likely to be overweight than their peers.

This information comes from The American Academy of Pediatrics that recommends children limit TV and video games in favor of more regular exercise.

It is suggested that children and teenagers get at least one hour of exercise every day or at least most days of the week.

Getting your kids away from the TV doesn't guarantee that they'll exercise but knowing that if you leave them in front of the TV, they can spend anywhere from 3-6 hours per day sitting there. Not good.

Are you hurting for exercise ideas? Let me be the first to tell you that you can succeed in this area of parenting. Your kids love you and would gladly follow your lead. Give it a try.


September 25 2008 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I completely agree - the chores were mandatory in my house, we did not have the luxury of getting PAID to do them; my parents considered the work as payment for room and board!

February 07 2007 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I completely agree with you, Flo. My wife and I decided that our kids wouldn't get an allowance, but would work for their cash. We have the oldest mow the lawn while the youngest sweeps the walk, this is, of course, after they've picked up all their yard toys like the basketballs, volleyballs, frisbees, etc. They are required to clean their rooms, dust the house and they both love to cook.

I'm not saying it's always easy to get the little crumb-crunchers moving in the direction of fighting entropy, but we get there eventually.

Oh, and as a side note, my kids watch their fair share of TV, play games on their computers, etc., but they also go outside a good bit. I think keeping a variety of activities open to their choosing, especially when it includes a plethora of outdoor activities, goes a long way towards having them actually choose to go out and get some exercise, fresh air and sunshine.

February 07 2007 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
F. Mollner

May I suggest that parents begin to act like parents, instead of helpless idiots, and give the lazy kids something to do out of doors--like mow or water the lawn---pick weeds----pick up the toys/litter in the yard---take out the garbage--or indside the house---do the dishes--learn to do their own laundry--learn basic cooking when old enough to be near the stove....Clean their own rooms....and the list is endless to keep the little butt-lazy kids busy---modern day kids seem to think the world owes them a living -----instead of them owing something to the betterment of the world......

February 07 2007 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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