Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Speed On the Decline

It often puzzles me why some research gets done before curing the common cold or why researchers go to great lengths to tell us what we could have easily surmised; sometimes, though, there is an unique take on the situation with relevant scientific data to make it believable. So it is today when the American Heart association posits that children 30 years ago could run faster than the kids today can.
Now that's an interesting perspective. According to the research done over 46 years on 25 million kids from 28 countries (how's THAT for thoroughness on a longitudinal study?), cardiovascular fitness decreases about 5% each decade, meaning that today's youngsters are 30% less fit than their older counterparts. The decrease is due, researchers feel, to an increase in fat mass across all kids and countries. That part I could have guessed. Obesity is nearly worldwide in its reach.
The interesting part to me is that kids today, according to researchers, are 90 seconds slower in running a mile than their counterparts were 30 years ago. Amazing. Of course, there are many reasons other than body fat for the slowness of today's young people. Motivation to run a whole mile as fast as you can? not so much. Being asked to run without an MP3 player? criminal! Actually breaking a sweat? maybe not. Physical education being restricted to a couple of times a week or one semester in three years? Now THERE'S a culprit I can put the cuffs on!
All in all, though, now that the wild animals have mostly been eradicated from the free ranges, maybe running fast isn't all that important.


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