It’s no secret that exercise is a great way of promoting health and wellness among all people, especially kids. Proper exercise keeps kids active, energized, healthy and is a great stress reliever.
But kids can be lured by technology and its sedentary nature. The increased offerings among TVs, smartphones, computers and video games divert their attention from outdoor recreation like no generation before them.
Per the American Heart Association (AHA), childhood obesity rates are at an all-time high. Today, nearly one in every three kids and teens in the United States are obese or overweight, and obese youth are more likely to be obese as adults.
One of the most popular pro sports leagues in the world, the National Football League (NFL), got off the sidelines to do something about it. The league created the NFL Play 60 Campaign in partnership with AHA. The campaign encourages kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.
The campaign is supported by many NFL players and coaches with national outreach and online programs, as well as in-school, after school and team-based programs. To date, the NFL has dedicated more than $200 million to youth health and wellness through NFL Play 60.
Pro athletes have a tremendous amount of influence in society. Imagine being a kid who idolizes pro athletes and wants to be just like them someday. If you were told that 60 minutes of exercise per day is important by Tom Brady, Cam Newton or J.J. Watt, would you do it?
Today’s culture of celebrity, more than ever, makes it possible for celebrities to influence campaigns with a combination of their likeness and care for issues that affect the general public. Because physical activity is essential to their profession and livelihood, pro athletes are uniquely positioned to emphasize to kids just how important it is to be physically active. With the reinforcing of this messaging, NFL players have the power to bring attention to health and wellness, and amplify the messaging of a campaign that encourages it.
With so many outside pressures to stay inside and utilize technology, programs like the NFL’s Play 60 Campaign are truly playing it smart.