Research: Kids less fit than their parents were - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Research: Kids less fit than their parents were

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NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -

Exercise is important to Zack Johnston and his father, Mark. Between gym class, football and basketball practice, 14-year-old Zack gets plenty of exercise. But new research finds millions of children are not as fit as their parents when they were growing up.

"There's less time in the schools for physical fitness," Mark Johnston said. "With working parents and the economy being what it is, parents simply don't have the time to dedicate to the level of fitness they would like, I feel."

Researchers in Australia analyzed data on 25 million children worldwide from 1964-2010. They found it now takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than kids did 30 years ago.

"Over the past three decades, children are 15 percent less fit than they were," said Dr. Shari Barkin, the director of general pediatrics at Vanderbilt University.

Health experts recommend children 6 and older get one hour of vigorous activity every day. But only one-third of kids in the U.S. do.

Ernie Foli has taught physical education for 45 years and sees the changes firsthand. He blames technology.

"We have a lot of video, video games, computers," Foli said.

Zack, and eighth-grader, is making sure he gets his exercise.

"It's all about getting out and working out at least 45 or 40 minutes a day," he said.

Whether he's playing ball or dancing.

According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of kids may not be exercising enough.

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