Mind and Body: Focusing on the benefits of youth sports

Published 9:14 am Thursday, July 11, 2019

Too many young people are missing out on the life-changing benefits of sports and play

that would improve their overall health and provide them with the skills needed to thrive.

There is a long list of health benefits that come with participating in sports, but it provides children with many other benefits including developing social skills.

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During the week of July 15-21, those invested in youth sports will show their support for these benefits while awareness is raised.

Here are just a few stats on youth and their activity levels:

— 20 percent of children between 6 and 12 are mostly sedentary.

— Today’s kids spend more than 27 hours a week in front of screens.

— Less than three in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

— In 2007, only 30 percent of ninth through 12th graders said they attended physical education classes every day.

According to the Center for Disease Control, children and adolescents need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Only 39 percent of youth ages 9-13 say they participate in organized physical activity.

National Youth Sports Week seeks to see a surge in participation rates.

There are many health benefits to participating in youth sports:

— 88 percent of kids involved in sports reported experiencing an improvement in physical health.

— 73 percent of kids involved in sports say it enhanced their mental health as well.

— 56 percent of parents of kids involved in sports say it gives their children skills to help in future schooling.

— 55 percent of parents of kids involved in sports say it gives their children skills to help in their future career.

Participating in sports is credited with such health benefits as improving endurance and supporting weight control and with such social benefits as building character, boosting self-esteem, developing teamwork skills and teaching discipline.

Simply being active and moving around can cause a great change.

Small changes incorporated into everyone’s life, no matter what age, can make significant impacts on the health and long-term advantages on the body.

Get out there and play.

Information for this article taken from Youthsporttrust.org and Mybenefitskeeper.com. Clark County Health Department supports families through a variety of programming and services, including Nutrition Therapy, family planning, immunizations, WIC, HANDS, community education events, Cooper Clayton smoking cessation, etc. For more information on services, call 744-4482 or visit www.clarkhealthdept.org.