Kids’ Inactivity a Big Concern

Kids need to get moving to stay healthy.

Having a hard time dragging your little couch potatoes away from the TV or video games? You’re not alone. According to the results of a national survey, physical inactivity may be one of the biggest child health problems.

It was the sixth annual survey conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health—and the adults surveyed ranked “not enough exercise” as the leading health concern for children in their communities, followed by childhood obesity and tobacco use. Other concerns included drug abuse and bullying

Notably, top child health concerns differed among Hispanic, black, and white adults. Hispanic adults ranked obesity as the number one concern and black adults ranked smoking as the top concern.

So, what can you do to ensure that your kids get moving and stay moving for life?

  • Limit television. There are a number of reasons to limit screen time—it has been linked to higher levels of inactivity, can interfere with attention span, and can expose kids to inappropriate content, including violence.
  • Encourage physical activity. Set kids up for success by creating healthy habits that involve physical activity, sports, games, and anything else that gets them moving.
  • Be a role model. Set an example by maintaining a healthy level of activity. Kids often follow their parents’ example. If you don’t want to raise a lifelong couch potato, turn off the TV and step outside for a rousing game of tag with your kids.
  • Focus on fun. Make family fun a priority. The family that laughs and plays together is bound to be healthier and happier. Physical activity doesn’t have to be grueling exercise—play counts, too.
  • Get outside. Too much time indoors can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. Make outdoor time a priority. Kids who spend time outside are exposed to fresh air and sunshine, develop a connection with nature, and are typically more active.


C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. Available at: