Study Shows Kids Today Run Slower Than Their Parents

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COLUMBIA - A new study shows that kids are running slower than their parents. The American Heart Association on Tuesday showed that on average, kids ages 9 to 17 take 90 seconds longer to run a mile than 30 years ago.

The study analyzed 50 past studies on running fitness conducted between 1964 and 2010. This is the first study to show that children's health worldwide is worsening.

The study also confirmed heart-related fitness also decreased at a rate of 5 percent each decade since 1975.

A former nurse and now crossfit trainer said she notices the influx of obesity not only on the streets, but by by looking at eating habits.

"When I was a nurse, I would see adult patients in the waiting room, sick, eating a bag of Cheetos," Elise James said. "Kids learn from their parents. It's a snowball effect."

She said children do not have the motivation to be outside with the increased use in technology.

"I don't see children playing outside in the streets like you used to. You don't see them in the parks anymore. They're empty. They're playing video games all the time," James said. "Even P.E. classes have been shortened to little to nothing twice a week."

James and her husband are both trainers at CrossFit COMO. They are both getting certified to teach CrossFit for kids at the end of this year and will bring it to Columbia in January.

"It's a conditioning program similar to crossfit and it's geared towards children. The intensity is not the same," James said.

The program will have kids raning in age from 3 to 18.

A doctor at Providence Urgent Care in Columbia said times are different now compared to 30 years ago.

"I've been a physician since 2002. You see a lot of kids that are big," Jason Zerrer. "The schedules are faster, everybody's eating more fast food, processed food. There's just no time. Kids don't have the time to exercise."

Zerrer said he did his residency in Mississippi, the state known for having the reputation of being the fattest. He said Columbia's problem is not as big, but the problem is still prevalent.

"Everywhere you go, you see kids who are overweight," Zerrer said. "I mean, P.E. has been taken out of some schools around the country."

The director of community relations of Columbia Public Schools said the health of children is important.

"We have a very robust physical curriculum in Columbia. We address all types of fitness and nutrition and it is reviewed regularly," Michelle Baumstark said.

 James said it all comes down to time.

"You have to invest into that. You have to realize that the more time you put into your kids, the healthier and happier they will be," she said.

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