Get those chil­dren mov­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

The June 27 Pol­i­tics & the Na­tion ar­ti­cle “Let’s (not) move: Seden­tary life­styles tak­ing over among youths” con­firmed what fit­ness ex­perts such as my­self have been say­ing for years: New so­cial struc­tures have a neg­a­tive im­pact in our so­ci­ety.

Re­duc­ing or lim­it­ing phys­i­cal-ed­u­ca­tion classes, a lack of fund­ing for af­ter-school fit­ness pro­grams and school of­fi­cials opt­ing out of manda­tory phys­i­cal fit­ness have con­trib­uted to th­ese re­sults. A re­verse in com­mu­nity and fam­ily be­hav­iors needs to oc­cur, such as chal­leng­ing and de­mand­ing school of­fi­cials to in­crease phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity; en­cour­ag­ing and al­low­ing chil­dren to at­tend af­ter-school fit­ness pro­grams; find­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to es­tab­lish fam­ily fit­ness in which fam­i­lies ex­er­cise to­gether for 45 min­utes be­fore din­ner, which would re­duce the amount of time chil­dren spend on elec­tronic de­vices; and teach­ing healthy eat­ing pat­terns. Busi­nesses should of­fer in­cen­tives for em­ploy­ees, such as ex­tend­ing lunch pe­ri­ods for those at­tend­ing group fit­ness classes.

With­out changes, we will see our health-care sys­tems clogged, and they al­ready are stretched. To­day’s youth are to­mor­row’s di­a­betic pa­tients, kid­ney pa­tients and high-blood-pres­sure pa­tients.

Greg Raleigh, Wash­ing­ton

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