Experts in sports medicine say that exercise guidelines for kids should stress quality activities, not just the duration.
The World Health Organization and US Department of Health and Human Services recommend in their guidelines that children and teens have 60 minutes each day of moderate to vigorous exercise. The implication is that aerobics should be the focus, with strength training, but they do not specify what kinds of activities would qualify.
According to the authors of a review article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the emphasis on frequency and duration limits considerations of how kids exercise, and can be encouraged to continue.
“These data were developed in the 1950s primarily for adults,” said lead author Dr. Gregory D. Myer of the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.“Kids don’t ask to go run two miles, they don’t enjoy it.”