Many children participate in organized sports. Frequently the sport takes up a significant amount of practice and game time. Many parents assume that all this sports activity equals lots of physical activity time. They may want to think again.
According to recent research in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine many children are not all that physically active during organized sports. Two hundred children ages 7-14 years old wore accelerometers during various sports practices. The results indicated that overall participants had moderate to vigorous physical activity 46.1% of practice time. Soccer players, boys and children aged 7-10 years old exhibited increased moderate to vigorous physical activity compared to other participants.
The guidelines recommend that children participate in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. This study found that only 24% of the participants met the daily requirements at sports practices. Even worse was 11-14 year olds, whom only 10% met the daily requirements and only 2% of girl softball players.
Reference: Desiree Leek; Jordan A. Carlson; Kelli L. Cain; Sara Henrichon; Dori Rosenberg; Kevin Patrick; James F. Sallis Physical Activity During Youth Sports Practices Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(4):294-299.