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Study: Children who exercise more will have fewer health care problems as adults

A new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study finds increasing the percentage of elementary school children in the United States who participate in 25 minutes of physical activity three times a week -- from 32% to 50% -- would avoid billions in medical costs and lost wages over the course of their lifetimes.

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- Just a little exercise can make the difference.

A new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study finds increasing the percentage of elementary school children in the United States who participate in 25 minutes of physical activity three times a week -- from 32% to 50% -- would avoid billions in medical costs and lost wages over the course of their lifetimes.

The study’s finds were just published in Health Affairs. It suggest that just a small increase in the frequency of exercise among children ages eight through 11 would also result in 340,000 fewer obese and overweight youth, a reduction of more than 4%. If all current eight through 11-year-olds in the United States exercised 25 minutes a day, three times a week, the researchers suggest that $62.3 billion in medical costs and lost wages over the course of their lifetimes could be avoided and in 1.2 million fewer youths would be overweight or obese.

"Physical activity not only makes kids feel better and helps them develop healthy habits, it's also good for the nation's bottom line," says study leader Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at the Bloomberg School. "Our findings show that encouraging exercise and investing in physical activity such as school recess and youth sports leagues when kids are young pays big dividends as they grow up."

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