Exercise Guidelines Out of Touch?

Exercise Guidelines Out of Touch?

Experts agree that this is the most sedentary generation of children in history. Computers, television, video games, and long hours seated at school combine to decrease children’s activity.

Current guidelines for activity levels were designed for adults — another case of ‘one-size-does-not-fit-all’.

The CDC and the American College of Sports Medicine call for all Americans to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. A study in the September 2001 online issue of Pediatrics used heart monitors to actually measure the activity levels of 1900 representative children ages 3 to 17. They averaged 30 minutes daily of high intensity exercise plus another 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily — more than 3 times the recommended levels — in a generation of children growing more obese each year.

I believe that children thrive with more activity than the levels suggest, probably about 2 hours of moderate to high-intensity activity daily. They’re designed with energy to burn for a reason!

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Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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