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Active kids become active adults.

If those kids are active in team sports, they’re more likely to be leaders and be at ease in social situations. They’ll be happier, healthier and higher academic achievers and less likely to require societal assistance.

Yet, while it’s recommended that children ages 6-17 get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, research shows only 24% of that age group reaches that threshold. Let’s highlight the importance of urging kids to increase their participation in sports.

Benefits That Help Them in the Long Run

  • Lowered risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and obesity
  • Better bone density (and lower risk for osteoporosis)
  • Better sleep patterns
  • Increased likelihood of involvement in physical activity in adulthood 

Their Mental Makeup Will Benefit

Emotional health, mental acuity and social skills all tend to be better among physically active kids.

Mentally, regular exercise contributes to a lower incidence of anxiety disorders, greater self-esteem and increased focus and engagement.

Academically, student-athletes outperform students who aren’t involved in extracurriculars by 10% in core subjects (for instance, math and science). They’ll score better on tests, be more likely to graduate and be more likely to go to college.

The social benefits of team sports are improved leadership, enhanced time management and the better ability to interact in group settings. Athletes learn how to face adversity, deal with disappointment, make quick decisions, work with others and honor commitments. Without extracurriculars, teens will find other things to do; drug use and teen pregnancy are much more common for high schoolers who are not involved in organized after-school activities.

It’s Something You Can Agree On

Parents and students alike — roughly 80% in each case — see physical fitness as a primary reason to engage in organized sports. Moreover, high school athletes seem to be in it for the right reasons, one study finding fun (81%) and exercise (79%) were cited far more often than motivations such as winning (53%) and earning a college scholarship (39%).

The Future Looks Brighter

High school athletes are more likely to graduate from college than non-athletes. The majority of female corporate executives participated in organized sports.

Even society as a whole sees benefits from its active population, one recent study showing that physical inactivity costs the global economy $67.5 billion annually in health care costs and productivity losses. Meanwhile, people who maintain a physically active lifestyle from adolescence into adulthood spend around 15% less annually on health care costs than their less active counterparts.

Physical activity helps create happy, healthy and accountable kids who know the value of support and supporting others. When they carry those traits into adulthood, we’re all better for it. Please see the accompanying resource, by Axio Athletic, for more information about the benefits of sports for kids.