A study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that American kids lag in worldwide fitness tests. More specifically, when compared to the fitness levels of kids in other countries, U.S. kids ranked 47 out of 50 participating countries. The study measured aerobic fitness levels using what is referred to as a "beep" test. Kids ran back and forth between two points until a beep occurs.
The last line of this article says that "it's not a bad idea for mom and dad to get moving too". This is indeed the real key. This study focused on kids ages 9-17. While JumpBunch programs do work with kids up to about age 12, historically most of our participants are 6 years old and under. The point? Healthy habits need to start early and need to be formed through the guidance of mom and dad (that's the get moving part!).
Once a child gets to the teenage years, and really well before that, they begin to make their own choices about many things and certainly have opinions about everything! Much of those choices and opinions are based on what was established for them in those early years. That is when parents were laying the foundation for who they would become. It can't be said enough that parents simply need to make an investment to make sure that their kids see and have an opportunity to experience the positive things that come with being active. Let's be clear though. An investment doesn't have to be monetary. It can be time planning activities with your kids or simply setting a good example in how you live your own life. Good choices. We all know that kids watch and imitate.
If you have an opportunity to be part of a JumpBunch or similar class and can afford it, there is no doubt that this kind of exposure can be a fun, happy way for kids to associate movement, activity, and sports with a healthy approach to life. We're not trying to build 5 year old sports stars, and that's not your goal either. This article makes a great point that American kids have some work to do. The real work falls on the parents though. Set an example, take the time to be involved, and choose to expose your children to things that positively shape their future rather than leaving that to chance.