The report of the study will appear in the April issue of Pediatrics. It is authored by Melissa Nelson, professor and epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota with co-author Dr. Penny Gordon-Larsen, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina's schools of public health and medicine.
The study reports that teens who are engaged in diverse physical activities have lesser tendencies of engaging in risky behaviors like drinking, sex and drug, as compared to their peers who spent most of their time in sedentary activities like watching TV. In addition, the former group also enjoyed a better self-esteem.
This study used a method of cluster analysis to understand activities related to healthier lifestyles with the help of self-reported data up to 1996, from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a survey conducted on thousands of adolescents between ages of 7 and 12.
Results of the study revealed that kids with the best self-esteem were those who engaged in physical activities with their parents. Teens who were allowed only limited TV time also showed the lowest tendencies towards dangerous behavior.
The results are especially important in today's scenario with the wide variety of leisure activities that are more sedentary than ever with minimal parental involvement.
That skateboarding, often looked upon as a risky activity, has shown such remarkable results should definitely encourage parents to broaden all sorts of exercise opportunities for their kids.