The Impact of Being Athletic vs. Sedentary on a Child's Future


As a parent, it can be difficult to know how to raise your children in the best possible way. You want them to have access to positive activities and experiences that will shape their future for the better. In today’s society, one of the questions many parents face is whether they should encourage physical activity or sedentary pastimes when it comes to their kids’ free time choices. To help you make an informed decision, we will take a look at how being active or inactive as a child can affect their future outcomes—for better or worse. Through our research and analysis on this topic, you'll gain valuable insight into which path may work best for your family's goals and objectives.

The Benefits of Being Active

Less than one-quarter (24%) of children 6 to 17 years of age participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day. For kids, the physical and mental benefits of being active are invaluable. Not only does regular exercise help improve physical health, but it can also provide incredible mental benefits. Being physically active increases blood flow throughout the body, bringing oxygen to the brain that helps with concentration and clear thinking. Additionally, exercise can be a key factor in helping to reduce stress levels and can even increase self-confidence, as kids begin to understand what their bodies are capable of achieving.

Being involved in physical activities can also have positive social effects - from making friendships and learning team-building skills in organized sports, to simply experiencing outdoor play with friends in their own environment. The benefit for an actively engaged kid is one that will extend far beyond childhood - giving them the essential ongoing tools and ability to maintain an active lifestyle for years to come. Here is a list of more benefits of being active as a kids.

The Disadvantages of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Living a sedentary lifestyle, or one that involves little physical activity, can be incredibly detrimental to an individual in the long run. From an early age, a sedentary lifestyle carries with it potential risks such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. If left unchecked or neglected, these issues can be extremely harmful in later life. Unfortunately, the repercussions of this lack of exercise can last for years – developing into chronic health conditions that are more difficult to treat than if proactive steps had been taken earlier on. Consequently, the importance of regular exercising and creating healthy habits from childhood cannot be overstated; otherwise somebody may find themselves carrying around unwanted physical and mental burdens far into their adulthood. Click here to see more risks of physical inactivity in children.

A Comparison Between an Athletic Kid and a Sedentary Kid

It's easy to see the difference between what active and sedentary children do in their free time. An athletic kid may choose to participate in a running club or join their school's basketball team, whereas a sedentary kid might prefer to stay at home playing video games or watching TV. However, the differences between these two lifestyles go deeper than just hobbies and activities; they will have a lasting impact on both kids' futures. Generally speaking, an athletic kid is likely to be healthier as they age as physical activity has many benefits for the human body. They are also more likely to develop strong problem-solving skills due to cooperating with teammates and overcoming obstacles while training.

On the other hand, a sedentary kid is likely to struggle more with maintaining healthy habits later on in life and face greater risks of health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, brought on by obesity. In terms of success in the future, being active helps children build confidence and encourages them to take advantage of opportunities that can lead them down brighter paths such as taking part in extracurricular activities or participating in volunteer groups. The lifestyle choice they make now will have big implications down the line when it comes time for college applications and job interviews. Ultimately, choosing an active lifestyle is beneficial not just for physical health but also mental well-being; it gives our young people the chance to gain important skills for their lives ahead that those who lead a sedentary lifestyle won't have the same opportunity for.

Impact of Exercise on Academic Performance

Exercise, when done regularly and consistently, has been proven to have a significant impact on academic performance. Those who exercise can experience improvements in focus, memory retention, and test scores. Research has found that physical activity can help stimulate the brain to form chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which increase focus and motivation. Additionally, regular exercise helps produce new neurons that are important for forming new memories. With these benefits in mind, it's clear that an active lifestyle is beneficial for student performance both now and in the future. Despite our technology-driven world of instant gratification where we long for passive rewards - it's essential to remember that human potential lies in the effort we make toward our goals; starting with a commitment to a regular exercise regime.

Building Healthy Habits Early On

Every child deserves a healthy and active lifestyle, but the habits they learn early in life often stick with them through adulthood. It is important to establish healthy physical activity habits early on when children are still growing and developing, as it helps instill an appreciation for physical activity that will last throughout their lifetime. Instilling a love for physical activity into our youth by having them participate in regular exercise can help strengthen bones, promote cardiovascular health, and encourage muscle strength and coordination.

Regular exercise also has been linked to improved mental wellness with symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety potentially reducing in both adolescents and adults. Start your children young with fun activities that promote movement, enthusiasm for physical activity, and dedication to making health a priority. Not only will it benefit them now but shape their development into adulthood with life-long healthy habits. For more information on healthy habits for kids, check out

Creative Ways to Encourage Physical Activity

Physical activity is an essential part of children's growth and development. It helps to keep their bodies healthy and strong, promotes their well-being, aids in emotion regulation, and encourages creative thinking. To encourage kids to stay active, parents should come up with creative ways to get them moving indoors and outdoors. Ideas include organizing a family fitness night or starting an exercise challenge among siblings; setting up obstacle courses or scavenger hunts in the backyard; playing tag or hide-and-seek; riding bikes around the neighborhood; having a dance party inside; going on nature hikes in the park; practicing yoga stretches at home or on the beach; and trying out age-appropriate sports such as kickball or basketball. Taking part in physical activities not only prevents obesity, but also promotes long-term positive outcomes such as better mental health, improved academic performance, and reduced risk of chronic disease later in life.


It is evident that giving kids the opportunity to be physically active during their childhood years is setting them up for success later in life. Not only does it lead to better physical health, but mental as well. Exercise can help bolster cognitive function, making it easier for kids to stay focused and recall information. Even more so, studies have also shown that children whose lifestyles include physical activity tend to perform better academically. All of us here at YFN academy believe that parents should do what they can to instill healthy habits into their young ones while they are still forming those foundations. This could mean games with your whole family or enrolling them in an extra sport or two — the options are endless! Above all, never forget that you have control over how successful your children will be in the future by managing their lifestyle choices now. So make sure to take advantage of this time and nurture a bright future for your child today! If you’d like to further explore how you can best equip your kids for success through health and fitness, please join YFN academy today!


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Tumbles. “The Risks of Physical Inactivity for Children.” Tumbles, Inc, 11 Aug. 2021,