Study: Youth participation in sports on the decline - FOX 32 News Chicago

Study: Youth participation in sports on the decline

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Kids playing basketball at "In the Paint Basketball." (Photo by Craig Wall) Kids playing basketball at "In the Paint Basketball." (Photo by Craig Wall)
Kids exercising at "In the Paint Basketball." (Photo by Craig Wall) Kids exercising at "In the Paint Basketball." (Photo by Craig Wall)
Kids exercising at "In the Paint Basketball." (Photo by Craig Wall) Kids exercising at "In the Paint Basketball." (Photo by Craig Wall)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

What's happening to youth sports?

A new study found that participation in football, basketball, baseball and soccer have declined in recent years, and it has health professionals concerned.

The study, done by the Wall Street Journal found that participation in those four major sports by both boys and girls declined from 2008 to 2012 by roughly four percent.

One of the reasons the study cited was more kids are hanging out inside playing video games.

FOX 32 decided to catch up with a man trying to teach kids the value of being active.

At In the Paint Basketball, the goal is to teach kids more than just how to play hoops, it's also about being physically active.

Their motto is "get off the couch and get in the paint".

But fewer kids are taking advantage of the program these days.

" I've seen participation levels, when I first started they were really high, but I've noticed in the last couple years its' kinda slacked off, I don't know if that's due to other circumstances, like the economy, but I think more kids got devices, more screens at home, more computers, less physical activity," Mike Robinson, founder of In the Paint Basketball, said.

It's a trend that concerns pediatricians, especially when combined with the fact that many school have cut out gym classes.

"Ultimately kids who at school age have these problems with not having exercise or physical activity at school, they grow up to be teens who have issues with obesity," Rush University Medical Center's Dr. Adannia Enyioha said.

Overweight teens are at risk for high cholesterol and hypertension and, as adults, heart problems.

"It kinda saddens me, it really does, from time to time we'll have a parent come in here and bring their son and the kid is nine or ten and he's obese, and the parents are not bringing them so much for basketball, but to get his weight down and to get him active," Robinson said.

Scott Steward says his son Trent would have many opportunities to game or otherwise veg in front of the computer, and he wants to keep that in check.

" My wife and I decided we wanted to keep him involved in as many sports as possible because child obesity, youth obesity is a chronic problem and we don't want that for our children," Steward said.

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