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Teens Get Less Exercise Than the Average 60-Year-Old

You might think that the younger we are, the more active we are. But a new study turns that belief on its head: The results show that physical activity is lower in children than previously thought. And, on average, teens are about as sedentary as a 60-year-old adult.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, shows that by the end of adolescence, activity levels were alarmingly low. The only age group with an increase in activity is young adults in their 20s. After that, activity levels begin to decline starting at age 35, and continue to fall through midlife and older adulthood, the study shows.

The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2003-2006, in which nearly 13,000 participants wore tracking devices for seven straight days, removing them only for bathing and at bedtime. The devices measured how much time participants were sedentary or engaged in light or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

The researchers broke down findings into five age groups: children (ages six to 11); adolescents (ages 12 to 19); young adults (ages 20 to 29); adults at midlife (ages 31 to 59); and older adults (age 60 through age 84). Forty-nine percent were male.

Rise in obesity fuels concerns

The findings, which were published online recently in the journal Preventive Medicine, come amid heightened concerns that lack of exercise is contributing to the growing obesity epidemic, particularly among children and teens.

The finding that physical activity among people at the end of adolescence match those with people 40 years older provides strong evidence that childhood and adolescence represents a high-risk time period for physical inactivity, the researchers say.

While lower physical activity among older adults may be partially related to physiologic changes, including physical and cognitive impairments, lower levels of physical activity among children and adolescents generally are not driven by factors related to impaired mobility.

Move every day

Teens should try to fit in some physical activity every day to lessen their chances of developing chronic illness as adults, says family nurse practitioner Jennifer Brubaker, PhD, FNP-BC, of Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

Obesity has been linked to several serious chronic adulthood illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. More than 12 million U.S. children and teenagers are considered to be obese, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Ideally, children and teens should be getting at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity,” Ms. Brubaker says.

What parents can do

Too much screen time can be a barrier for adolescents to get enough movement in their day.

“Set healthy limits for screen time by making sure your kids aren’t sitting around all day long on their screens,” Ms. Brubaker says.“Try to encourage them, in any way you can, to get outside and do more activities.

“They should focus on increasing the intensity of their physical activity,” she says. “They’ll know that they are at the right level of exertion when they are sweating and getting winded.””

One of the best ways to combat the obesity trend is to get the whole family involved in physical activity, Ms. Brubaker says.

“They should really try to increase the intensity of their physical activity,” she says. “They’ll know that they are at the right level of exertion when they are sweating and getting winded.”

Teaching children to be active and eat healthy will make it more likely that they will be able to continue those good habits into adulthood, Ms. Brubaker says.

Complete results of the study can be found in the journal Preventive Medicine.

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/10/study-teens-get-less-exercise-than-the-average-60-year-old/


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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