Feature Article - June 2011
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A Look at Trends in YMCAs

By Emily Tipping

Top Priorities: Kids' Health

According to a national survey conducted by YMCA of the USA, only 15 percent of American parents rank overall physical health as the top concern for their children. At the same time, despite growing rates of childhood obesity and chronic illness among children—problems that could be addressed largely through increased activity, the survey found that 74 percent of children ages 5 to 10 do not get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

The survey, titled "YMCA's Family Health Snapshot," revealed that the economy has created financial challenges, as well as time constraints that are making it hard for families to make time for physical activity and to provide a health home environment. More than half (52 percent) of parents surveyed said they'd been forced to cut back on their children's afterschool activities in an effort to save money.

"The Y knows parents struggle to find the time and resources to incorporate physical activity and healthier habits into their kids' daily routine," said Lynne Vaughan, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at the YMCA of the USA. "But getting active doesn't have to require a lot of time and resources. The Y created Healthy Kids Day to encourage active play and inspire a lifetime love of physical activity that's easy and accessible for today's family."

The YMCA's Healthy Kids Day took place on April 16 at more than 1,600 Ys across the United States. The event aims to remind parents that health and well-being is essential to ensure children reach their full potential.

Learn more at www.ymca.net.