NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker and First Lady Michelle Obama address growing physical inactivity epidemic in the U.S.
Kids are designed to move. In fact, much of their future will depend on it. The challenge is kids today are the most inactive generation in history. In the United States, only one in three children is active on a daily basis. Statistics like these from the recently released Designed to Move Framework for Action expose the rampant physical inactivity epidemic and present a clear way forward. Nike sees a future where kids are running, jumping and kicking to reach their greatest potential. The two key strategies to achieve this are:
Create early, positive experiences for kids in sport, physical education and active play.
Integrate physical activity into everyday life.
As part of this strategy and first step in the U.S., NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker joined First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Chicago to announce Nike’s commitment to get kids moving. Over the next five years, NIKE, Inc. will invest $50 million in the U.S. to increase the physical activity of kids in schools and communities as well as target advocacy efforts to inspire kids and draw additional resources to the effort.
“Today’s announcement is part of Nike’s long-term commitment to help our nation’s youth lead more active and healthy lives,” said NIKE, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker. “All kids deserve a chance to realize their full potential and we believe creating active schools will help kids do better in school and most importantly in life.”
Nike athletes Serena Williams, Bo Jackson, Allyson Felix, Gabby Douglas, Paul Rodriguez, Ashton Eaton, Colin Kaepernick and Sarah Reinertsen jumped, kicked, spun and danced with nearly 6,000 local Chicago school kids to help deliver the announcement.
Part of Nike's commitment will focus on Let's Move! Active Schools – an unprecedented collaboration to bring physical activity back to America’s schools. The program provides simple steps and tools to help schools create active environments to get students moving.
Let’s Move! Active Schools will provide free resources to teachers, parents and administrators to enable communities to incorporate physical activity experiences before, during and after the school day. There will also be opportunities for schools to apply for grants that support Active Schools efforts, which will be funded by Childhood Obesity 180, GenYouth and others. Schools can learn more and apply for grants at Let's Move Active Schools.
The First Lady has championed physical activity since the 2010 launch of Let’s Move!, an initiative dedicated to improving child and family health. Let’s Move! Active Schools is a concept designed to align and leverage collective resources to significantly boost the quality and quantity of physical activity in America’s schools. This is collective partnership effort and includes organizations such as The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition; American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Read the full press release issued by the White House.
The benefits of increased activity are numerous and include up to 40 percent higher test scores, greater concentration and attention, improved school attendance, reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as lowered levels of anxiety, stress and depression.