Inactive young children face serious health risks later in life

According to KCTV5:
Young children who don't get much exercise have a greater chance of heart problems, with symptoms showing up as early as the teen years, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said. . . .

Robert McMurray said that adolescents with the syndrome were six times more likely to have had low aerobic fitness as children and five times more likely to have low levels of physical activity at the time they joined the study.

Low levels means no vigorous exercise and less than 20 minutes a day of moderate activities such as walking or riding a bike.

"This shows efforts need to begin early in childhood to increase exercise," McMurray said. "Children today live a very sedentary life and are prone to obesity. This is the first study to examine the importance of childhood fitness levels on your metabolism as a teenager. Previously we didn't know if low fitness levels were an influence," said McMurray.
The original journal article is here. Conclusion: "Low levels of childhood physical activity and aerobic fitness are associated with the presence of the metabolic syndrome in adolescents. Thus, efforts need to begin early in childhood to increase exercise."

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a program that has been successful in encouraging far more children to get their daily exercise by walking or bicycling to school. That is one reason MoBikeFed supports programs like SRTS in its Vision of Active Transportation in Missouri.