Liberal Arts Blog — Saturday is the Joy of Sports, Dance, Fitness, and All Things Physical Day
Today’s Topic — Alarming statistics on physical inactivity of US children plus some more data on fitness and spectator sports
Without the adrenaline rush of live television sports, many Americans (including notably former President Obama) are going nuts. Ditto for those who have an addiction to playing a sport. I was planning to write a post on the mental and physical health consequences of sports-deprivation, but then I came across some alarming statistics on sports participation by kids aged 6 to 17. I knew it was bad. But this bad? Then I decided to dig up some more statistics — what do Americans do for fitness anyway? And what is America’s favorite sport? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
“68% OF CHILDREN AGED 6–17 ARE NOT PHYSICALLY ACTIVE AT LEAST 3X PER WEEK”
1. That would be 34.9 MM children!
2. 21.6 million 6–12 year olds and 13.3 million 13–17 year olds!!!
3. “Even more shocking is that 5.4 million of 6–12 year olds and 4.1 million of 13–17 year olds are totally physically inactive.”
NB: “In 2015, just over 25% of 6–12 year olds and less than 40% of 13–17 year olds were physically active to healthy standards.” Source: the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). See first link.
WHAT DO AMERICANS DO FOR FITNESS ANYWAY?
1. Walking for fitness — 71 MM
2. Basketball — 30 MM
3. Baseball/Softball — 29 MM
NB: Cycling 21 MM, volleyball 11 MM, aerobics 9 MM….
WHAT ARE AMERICA’S FAVORITE SPECTATOR SPORTS?
1. Football — 37%
2. Basketball — 11%
3. Baseball — 9%
4. Soccer — 7%
5. Hockey — 4%
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to sports, dance, fitness. Or the coolest thing you learned about Sports, Dance, of Fitness in your life — whether on the field, on the dance floor or in the gym, whether from a coach, a parent, a friend, or just your own experimentation.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or even change their life. It’s perhaps a chance to put into words something you have never articulated before. And to cement in your own memory something cool you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.