Fitness :: Physically active kids get into less trouble

Teenagers who are physically active in any way are less likely than their TV-watching peers to smoke, drink or take other health risks, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that compared with teens who spent much of their free time in front of the TV, those who were active often had higher self-esteem, better grades and were less prone to risky behavior like taking drugs, smoking, drinking or having sex.

The findings, based on a national survey of nearly 12,000 middle and high school students, are published in the journal Pediatrics.

“Across the board, children who engaged in any kind of activity were better off than kids who watched a lot of TV,” said study co-author Dr. Penny Gordon-Larsen of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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