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Child’s Play Is Good for All of Us

New study finds that child play and physical activity are healthy for children and society as a whole.

“If all of the children who currently are sedentary started exercising every day, societies could save enormous amounts of money in the coming decades and have healthier citizens as a whole, according to a remarkable new study. In the United States alone, we could expect to save more than $120 billion every year in health care and associated expenses.”

“Inactivity is, of course, widespread among young people today. Recent research shows that in the United States and Europe, physical activity tends to peak at about age 7 for both boys and girls and tail off continually throughout adolescence. More than two-thirds of children in the United States rarely exercise at all.”

“The immediate health consequences for inactive children and their families are worrisome. Childhood obesity, which is linked to lack of exercise, is common, as is the incidence of Type 2 diabetes and other health problems related to being overweight among children as young as 6.”

“But the long-term financial costs of inactivity in the young, both for them and society as a whole, have never been quantified.”

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