The June 27 Politics & the Nation article “Let’s (not) move: Sedentary lifestyles taking over among youths” confirmed what fitness experts such as myself have been saying for years: New social structures have a negative impact in our society.
Reducing or limiting physical-education classes, a lack of funding for after-school fitness programs and school officials opting out of mandatory physical fitness have contributed to these results. A reverse in community and family behaviors needs to occur, such as challenging and demanding school officials to increase physical activity; encouraging and allowing children to attend after-school fitness programs; finding opportunities to establish family fitness in which families exercise together for 45 minutes before dinner, which would reduce the amount of time children spend on electronic devices; and teaching healthy eating patterns. Businesses should offer incentives for employees, such as extending lunch periods for those attending group fitness classes.
Without changes, we will see our health-care systems clogged, and they already are stretched. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s diabetic patients, kidney patients and high-blood-pressure patients.
Greg Raleigh, Washington