School sports participants grow into active adults

December 19, 2003 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News, Sports Nutrition and Exercise

School sports participants grow into active adults

Raise kids to play sports, and you may also raise future generations of healthier adults, according to new research.

In this study, adults who exercise in their free time were more than three times as likely as inactive adults to have participated in organized sports as children, apart from required physical education classes in school.

Scientists asked 3687 male Israeli industrial workers if they spent at least 30 minutes of their leisure time each week exercising. Only 21 percent of the men interviewed said they engaged in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each week, and less than 3 percent of participants got at least half an hour of exercise on at least 5 days per week.

Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people participate in at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.

Researchers note that whether kids enjoy physical activity may have a large impact on whether they keep it up as adults. Indeed, a previous study found that people who were forced to exercise as children tended to exercise less as adults.

Therefore, participation in exercise may hinge on making it appealing to children (and adults). Teaching kids how to play sports and encouraging enjoyable activities could give them a lifelong appreciation of exercise and, as a result, better health.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.