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Homeschooled Kids May Not Get Enough Exercise

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There is a new study that suggests children who are homeschooled do not get as much physical activity throughout the day as their peers who go to school every day. In fact, children who are schooled at home by their parents or a professional educator may not be getting enough exercise, even if they do participate in organized sports and physical activities.

Children who wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and try to make it to the bus on time every morning, put in a significant amount of more physical activities than kids who are taught their math, science, and social studies in the convenience of their own home. Researchers say that while parents who home school their kids think that if they put their kids in organized sports it will keep them fit, but that’s not always the case.

According to Science Daily, the faculty at Rice University that parents need to do more to encourage their children to get up and move, so to speak. A team of researchers from the Rice Department of Kinesiology studied data that was gathered from 100 homeschool children from the ages of 10 to 17 and found that they weren’t doing enough to keep fit throughout the day. The results have been published in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology.

Sports medicine lecturer Laura Kabiri says that part of the problem is that homeschool children are simply not moving enough throughout the day, unlike their school-aged peers who have at least 20 minutes of recess, extended day activities, or simply walk from class to class or engage in other activity that is not part of an organized sport.

"We assumed -- and I think parents largely do as well -- that children enrolled in an organized sport or physical activity are getting the activity they need to maintain good body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular development," Kabiri said in her research. "We found that is not the case. Just checking the box and enrolling them in an activity doesn't necessarily mean they're meeting the requirements they need to stay healthy."

Unfortunately, the same can be applied for public school children, especially when it comes to their physical education classes. Half of the time is usually spent trying to get kids organized before they even begin their class. Homeschool children often do not have a physical education class in their curriculum at all.

The World Health Organization suggests that children should get a minimum of one hour of aerobic activity each day.

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