Local Camp Stop Kids From Being Couch Potatoes

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A recent report from the National Institutes of Health found that only about half of all U.S. kids are getting the recommended amount of physical activity each day.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health surveyed nearly 10,000 kids between the ages of 11 and 16 and found that 47% don’t get enough exercise.

That is not the case at the Martin Luther King Center Summer Day Camp in Rock Island, Illinois.

“We do a lot of basketball, kick ball and ultimate football,” says camp member, Jasmine Thompson.

Camp Director Desmond Cunningham says not only does the free camp provide a literacy program, breakfast and lunch and educational field trips but a chance for kids to escape the video games and enjoy the summer weather.

“One of our biggest goals is to always keep the children active,” Cunningham adds.

Researchers say the best way for kids to learn to be active is for adults to show the way and camp counselor Cherie Berry agrees.

Berry says, “It’s important for me not to just ask them to be active and do the activities we provide but I feel like if I lead by example that gets them involved.”

At the camp, the kids spend about 50% of their time being physically active but they also get to learn about nutrition.  The University of Illinois 4-H Extension teaches the children about nutrition and the impacts of healthy habits every Friday throughout the 6 week camp.

The goal, according to most medical groups is to get kids an hour of physical play each day  that can even be broken up into four 15-minute increments.