“Did You Know” Interesting Facts About Kids, Teens, Physical Activity & Much More

Between the day your child is born and the day they turn 3-years-old their brain has developed to 95% of its full capacity.(1)

  1. Globally, 23% of adults and 81% school-aged adolescents are not active enough. (11)

  2. Physical activity reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, diabetes, hypertension, various types of cancer including colon cancer and breast cancer, as well as depression. (11)

  3. If your baby’s body kept pace with how quickly their brain is growing they would weigh a whopping 170 pounds by their first birthday.(1)

  4. By age 6, children understand about 13,000 words (compared to an adult’s 60,000), though they usually don’t speak that many. (2)

  5. A child learns to pump their legs on a swing around 4–5 years old. (3)

  6. Social interaction increases the speed and accuracy of learning at all ages. (4)

  7. From ages 3–8, children’s brain tissue uses twice as much energy as adult brain tissue. A 5-year-old child weighing 44 pounds requires 860 calories a day. Half of that energy goes to the brain. (1)

  8. Children can begin to organize information in their memory starting at about age 7. (1)

  9. Girls who eat regular family meals in a pleasant atmosphere are less likely than average to develop an eating disorder and become overweight. (1)

  10. Playing is the most effective way for children to learn life skills and find out what they like. (1)

  11. Bullying can have negative effects on a child’s development that can last well into middle age. Children who are bullied, especially those who are frequently bullied, are at risk for a wide range of poor social, health, and economic challenges. Even occasional bullying increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide later in life. (1)

  12. By kindergarten, a child’s brain has reached its full size but it won’t stop developing until the mid-20s. Even then, the brain never stops changing, either for better or worse. (1)

  13. Important motor skills to keep in mind, that 3-4 year olds can accomplish. Build the physical activity around it:

  • Walks with agility, good balance, and steady gait

  • Run at a comfortable speed in one direction and around obstacles; children can also stop, re-start, and turn while running

  • Aim and throw a large ball or beanbag, or catch one thrown

  • Hop several times on each foot

  • Walk along and jump over a low object, such as a line, string, or balance beam

  • Bounce a large ball several times

  • Kick a stationary ball

  • Pedal and steer a tricycle (5)

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14. Boys in Years 6, 8 and 10 are more active than girls, however physical activity declines with age. (6)

15. Regular physical activity helps kids and teens:

  • Helps with healthy growth and development

  • Builds strong bones and muscles

  • Improves balance and develop skills

  • Maintains and develop flexibility

  • Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness

  • Reduces stress and feel more relaxed

  • Improves posture

  • Boosts confidence and self-esteem

  • Allows kids and teens to have fun with their friends and make new ones (6)

16. Kids and teens should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. (6)

17. Children don’t need to have their daily amount of physical activity at one time. They can engage in different types of physical activity throughout the day. (7)

18. Kids and teens should participate in strengthening activities at least three days a week.  Strengthening activities, such as climbing, jumping, running or playing tug-o-war, help to build muscle and strong bones. (6)

19. Babies and kids can laugh up to 300 times a day. Adults typically laugh at most, about 20 times a day. (7)

20. Children develop best when they have consistent contact with at least three, supportive and loving adult influences throughout their life. Positive family, friends, and community bonds are extremely important to a child’s success. (7)

21. Studies have shown that if children watch more than 3 hours of videos or TV programs a day, they may have a greater risk for emotional, relationship, and conduct problems when they reach 7 years of age. (7)

22. Children who spend more time playing outside have a reduced risk of becoming myopic (nearsighted).  (7)

23. School sports don’t provide enough physical activity. In PE classes, students spend only about one-third of their time being moderately to vigorously active. The rest of the time is spent learning about sports, skills, safety, movement and the human body. At  their lunch breaks, students can often be busy socializing, eating and doing other slow-paced activities. (7)

24. As a parent, teacher or caregiver, have you noticed that sometimes your child’s thinking and behaviour seems quite mature, but at other times your child seems to behave or think in illogical, impulsive or emotional ways? The back-to-front development of the brain explains these shifts and changes – teenagers are working with brains that are still developing. (8)

25. Teens who are physically active have higher self-esteem and experience less anxiety and depression than inactive youth. (9)

26. Teens who are involved in activities that require weight management (such as ballet, wrestling, and gymnastics) may be at a greater risk for the eating disorders anorexia nervosa (self-starvation) or bulimia (binge and purge). (9)

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27. Physical activity decreases with age, and boys tend to be more physically active, that girls. (10).

28. 60 min of parent’s physical activity adds 15 min to a child’s average daily physical activity. (10)

29. Roughly 4,000 children and teenagers begin smoking everyday. (12)

30. Exercise makes you feel more energized because it releases endorphins into the blood. (12)

31. Fitness consists of three elements: endurance, strength and flexibility. Endurance develops through aerobic activities, such as basketball, bicycling, ice-skating, soccer, swimming, tennis, walking, jogging and running.

32. Strength can be improved through push-ups, stomach crunches, handstand, pull-ups and etc. Flexibility can be increased through stretches, practicing splits, or do a cartwheel. (13)