In a report titled Physical Activity: An Untapped Resource to Address Our Nation’s Mental Health Crisis Among Children and Adolescents the US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, addresses the importance of physical activity among children and adolescents. The report states:
"The evidence is clear: physical activity is effective and necessary to support the mental and physical health of our nation’s young people.
Harnessing the multiple benefits of physical activity will take deliberate effort. But we have the power to do so. When we commit to making physical activity a part of our children’s lives, we are making a major investment in their mental health, physical health, and social health."
The report highlights Girls on the Run as an impactful program in this arena:
"Girls on the Run is a physical activity–based positive program for girls in grades 3-8. Participants meet after school twice a week to learn life skills through interactive lessons and running games. An independent study of Girls on the Run found that girls who were the least active when they started the program increased their overall physical activity by >40%, from completing ≥60 minutes of physical activity 3.0 days per week prior to participation to 4.4 days per week after participation. Effects were sustained at 3-month follow-up. Furthermore, 97% of girls said that they learned critical life skills, including resolving conflict, helping others, or making intentional decisions, and 85% reported improvements in confidence, caring, competence, character development, or connection to others."
We at GOTR belive firmly in the link between children's physical and mental health and we are thrilled that this report may help others reach the same conclusion!
You can read the full report here.