A new study tells parents to get their kids off the couch… It’s better for them and the economy.
More and more children are not getting as much exercise as they need. Recess has been cut in some schools and when they’re home, technology keeps them inside staring at a screen.
But new research finds that if children remain sedentary, we’ll all pay for it. Literally.
Based on the study out of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins University, we could save $120 billion annually on healthcare and other costs.
Other research finds that kids are at their peak activeness at 7, and then it goes downhill from there. In the U.S., two-thirds of children barely get any exercise.
While that obviously presents problems to those children and their families, this study looked at what the widespread costs would be for everyone.
The researchers created avatars that represented children between 8 and 11 and used public data to have them grow up and deal with the health problems that often accompany obesity.
The study looked at the costs for the healthcare needed to treat the infirmities and also the costs of the loss of productivity. They found if children would either move around for 75 minutes a week or an hour a day, health costs went down $120 billion dollars.
The study’s lead author, Bruce Lee, told The New York Times that this study was proof that we all have reasons to care about childhood inactivity.