By Lisa Rapaport
Just one in 20 U.S. children and teens gets the amount of sleep, exercise and screen time that doctors recommend for optimal health, a new study suggests.
Children and teens are supposed to get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day and limit screen time to less than two hours. Kids ages 6 to 12 old also need 9 to 12 hours of sleep, while teens need 8 to 10 hours nightly.
Too little sleep or exercise, or too much screen time, can increase their risk of chronic health problems. Unfortunately, many children and teens aren’t hitting these targets, leading to issues like obesity, which is rising tremendously in the Western world. It’s important that teenagers losing weight is seen as for health reasons instead of for visual appearance to prevent negative body image; you can find out more about staying fit and healthy in your younger years at Nutrition Realm. Other issues that can arise from not exercising or not having a sufficient amount of sleep in your younger years are mental health issues like anxiety and depression, poor academic achievement and unhealthy behaviors like smoking and drinking, the study team notes in JAMA Pediatrics.
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If you would like help as a teenager or with your teenager(s), please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk to one of our licensed life coaches of clinical counselors.