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How Much Should Kids Exercise?

Researchers found that children aged 9 to 17 need a minimum of 7 minutes of vigorous physical activity per day. But what exactly does this mean?

By
Ben Greenfield
December 8, 2012

How Much Should Kids Exercise?

A recent study used monitors to track children’s physical activity levels for seven consecutive days. Researchers found that children aged 9 to 17 need a minimum of 7 minutes of vigorous physical activity per day.

But what exactly does this mean? That you should kick your kids outdoors for 7 minutes a day, or that the average length of a PE class should be 7 minutes?

More specifically, what this study found was that although children don't need a lot of intense physical activity to get the health benefits of exercise, at least 7 minutes of intense exercise per day is the minimum necessary to prevent weight gain, obesity and chronic health risks.

See also: Mighty Mommy’s Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Active

But if you want a child to be lean, fit, or have athletic superiority, they are definitely going to need more exercise that that! Sadly, the study noted, many children tend to spend nearly 70 % of their time being sedentary, with only 23% of time devoted to “light” physical activity, 7% to moderate physical activity, and a paltry 0.6% to vigorous physical activity.

Ultimately, the take away message is this: Just like adults, kids need brief bouts of intense exercise accompanied by standing more, walking more, and staying generally physically active to maintain optimal health.

See also: How to Get Your Kids Fit

If you have more questions about how much kids should exercise, then ask away at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.

Portrait of three cyclists from Shutterstock

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