Study of Youths Shows Health and Happiness Go Hand in Hand

by Sean White on Feb 01, 2003

What's New

To Be Healthy...Be FitSMM survey of more than 7,600 U.S. schoolchildren ages nine to 16 revealed some sobering trends.

It showed that children eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables less than half of the time and that a fourth of them do not floss their teeth at all. A third of the students surveyed sleep less than 8 hours a day. The survey also showed that, in addition to the known problems that can arise from following such habits, sedentary activities such as playing video games and watching television consume 30 percent of youths’ free time. Indeed, it indicated that, whereas the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 1 hour of exercise every day for children and teens, the majority of students exercise only 3 days per week.

Such unhealthy lifestyles for children carry not only the usual risk of developing obesity, diabetes, heart disease or cancer later but also social and emotional consequences. “There appears to be a clear link between a student’s self-image and a healthy lifestyle. Students who eat well tend to be concerned about safety, have a positive self-image, exercise more frequently and express their anger with words rather than resorting to actions,” said Jodi Prohofsky, vice president at CIGNA Behavioral Health, which conducted the survey. “Similarly, unhealthy attitudes are also connected. Students who have problems releasing their anger are often those who watch the most television and play the most video games, highlighting how nonphysical activities are less effective at alleviating stress.”

According to the survey, students with anger management problems were less likely than other students to exercise regularly, get enough sleep and eat wisely. If you can’t convince your young clients to exercise and eat right for the sake of their health, try convincing them to do those things for the sake of their happiness.

IDEA Personal Trainer , Volume 2004, Issue 2

© 2003 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Sean White IDEA Author/Presenter


Trending Articles

Eight Fascinating Facts About Fascia

Fascia has been enjoying the limelight in the fitness industry as one of the hottest topics in recent conference programming, workshops and ...

Nutrition Strategies for Stress and Pain Management

Stress and pain diminish quality of life for millionsofAmericansandcostbillionsin healthcare expenses and lost wages.

Cardio and Creative Core

Group fitness participants can’t seem to get enough of creative core and cardiovascular exercises. If you need innovative ideas to cha...

Wake Up Your Glutes!

It’s a sad fact of modern life that the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body, often becomes inhibited and “turns off.” Ironically, this inhibition can be the culprit behin...

Concurrent Training Can Jeopardize Strength Gains

A lot of people do concurrent training— cardio and strength training within the same session—because it seems to achieve multiple goals at the same time. It’s also a proven fat-burne...

Sample Class: Farmhand Fitness

Several years ago, I attended an IDEA World Fitness Convention™ session led by Michol Dalcourt, director of the Institute of Motion. D...

A Back-Pain Solution

Starting with the basics. Personal trainer Jamal Younis first met 38-year-old Jessica in August 2014. Jessica, a former competitive collegia...

Playing Hurt

When Gray Cook was a high-school athlete, his coaches would comment, “That Gray Cook sure can play hurt.” He had over 20 fractures before he was 18, what with his love of football and moto...

Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis: More Than Just Bad Posture

Excessive thoracic kyphosis (ETK) is a disproportionate forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back, also known as the thorac...

Functional Strength Training Combinations

Functional training essentially involves moving the body through different planes of motion while working multiple muscle groups and challenging balance. This Add It Up! strategy includes an upper-bod...