Welcome to our three-part series on why active kids do better! Thank you, Project Play for inspiring nonprofits like Caris Sports Foundation. Project Play was founded on the principles that “all kids, regardless of zip code or ability, should have access to high-quality youth sport experiences.” Caris Sports Foundation gives Arizona kids the opportunity to participate in organized sports by removing the financial obstacles that keep them on the sidelines. Today we will review the overall health and educational benefits children and teens experience through youth sports.
Studies and evidence suggest exercise is one of the least expensive ways to stay healthy over the course of one’s lifetime. In 2013, the British Journal of Medicine found that “exercise can prevent chronic diseases as effectively as medication.” According to the National Institutes of Health, leisure-time physical activity like recreational walking, yoga, and HIIT, is correlated with a reduced risk of 13 different types of cancer, including breast, colon, liver cancer and myeloid leukemia. Additionally, the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found afterschool youth sports programs would have the largest impact in reducing obesity in children aged 6 – 12, 1.8%.
Unfortunately, the obesity rates in children and teens continue to rise. In a 2018 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, obesity rates increased in all age groups among children ages 2 – 19. Meanwhile, youth sports have seen a significant decline over the last decade across nearly all team sports correlating with increased physical inactivity and pervasiveness of obesity in children and teens. According to the Journal of American Medicine Association, obesity increased in kids aged 6 – 19 years old from 16.8% (2007-2008) to 18.5% (2015-2016).
The Aspen Institute reports, “Sports participation is a significant predictor of young adults’ participation in sports and physical fitness activities.”
But what about education? The data gets richer, and the results speak for themselves.
At Caris Sports Foundation, we provide financial aid directly to the organization with which successful applicants wish to join. For more information on our application process, click here. Stay tuned as we wrap up this three-part series next week!