Study: Today's children can't keep up with their parents - CBS 5 - KPHO

Study: Today's children can't keep up with their parents

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Today’s children just can’t keep up with their parents. An analysis of studies found that today’s kids can't run as fast or as far as mom and dad did at their age. The research was presented at the American Heart Association conference Tuesday.

Pictures of her children playing sports are plentiful on Rachel Burmaster’s cell phone. She’s a mom of three happy, healthy and active kids.

“If it’s raining outside, it’s kind of harder, but inside, even if it’s raining, I’ll try to put some music on and we’ll dance around and just have fun and be silly,” she said.

Burmaster has always been active, she says; basketball, volleyball, and track were a few of her favorite sports.

“I did the mile run, and the 300 meter hurdles,” she said.

But those studies showed that on average it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their parents did thirty years ago. Heart-related fitness has declined five percent per decade since 1975.

“If it’s nice outside I let them go outside for an hour or so, just to burn off energy,” Burmaster said of keeping her kids healthy.

Health experts recommend children 6 and older get an hour of moderately vigorous activity per day, but only a third of American children actually do.

The studies pointed to obesity as one cause since it makes exercise more difficult. Also, a rise in technology is putting playtime on phones and gadgets, rather than outside. But, Burmaster says playing with your children has a much greater benefit than just the physical.

"Go play with them, they’re going to love playing outside if you just show them, or do dancing around the house, it’s all fun and you can just enjoy it together," said Burmaster.

“I’m not trying to push it on them, but I am trying to show them certain things, so they can develop their own personality, and whatever they want to do,” Burmaster added.

The conclusion is that today’s children are about 15 percent less fit than their parents were.

The study involved twenty five million children ages 9 to 17 in twenty-eight countries from 1964 to 2010.

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