You’re never too young to be physically active! The National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE) recommends that infants should be encouraged to be physically active from the beginning of life. NASPE warns that confining babies and young children to strollers, playpens, car seats or infant seats for hours at a time may delay physical and cognitive development.
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of Special Reports that will appear in IDEA Health & Fitness Source throughout the year. The goal of these Special Reports is to investigate timely industry issues in an impartial manner to create a dialogue among fitness professionals.
As a health and fitness educator and an exercise physiologist, I have enjoyed working with a variety of populations for many years. However, I began working with teens only recently. I knew the percentage of overweight children and adolescents in the United States was growing. I also knew that obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese adults at high risk for disease—and that an increasing number of teens were leading sedentary lifestyles.
It is estimated that 3 to 5 million people in the United States are injured from recreational, exercise and sport-related activities each year. While the primary causes of these injuries are physical, psychological issues can also contribute—and impact recovery as well.
A new study indicates that older women who consume too much vitamin A may increase their risk of hip fracture. Researchers found that women with the highest total intake of vitamin A, from both fortified food and multivitamin supplements, had double the risk of hip fracture compared to women with the lowest intake. The study appeared in the January 2, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It sometimes seems schools around the country are contributing more to sedentary living among today’s youth than they are promoting the benefits of exercise. Only one state—Illinois—requires daily physical education (PE) for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade, while only one other—Alabama—requires daily PE for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, according to the latest Shape of the Nation Report, conducted by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.