November 24, 2010

Get Kids Off Their Couches

By Lisa Gable, Executive Director, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation

Parents know that videos and other modern entertainment technologies are a major roadblock standing between kids and the healthy physical activity they need. For example, a study released earlier this year by Kaiser Family Foundation reports that children devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day to entertainment media.

That doesn’t leave much time to burn off energy.  So it’s a great thing that Boston Celtics star Paul “The Truth” Pierce (an associate member of Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation) has found a way to get kids off their couches. He has come up with the equivalent of a ju-jitsu move to use videos to promote physical activity – producing videos in conjunction with Comcast that inspire young people to lead active, healthy lives.

Pierce’s 5-7 minute vignettes – available on his Truth on Health website ( and on Comcast On Demand – feature the NBA all-star demonstrating a variety of exercises designed to get and keep kids moving.

Backpack Attack, for example, illustrates simple exercises that kids can engage in while wearing a backpack.

Commercial Cardio features basic calisthenics kids can perform at home while watching television. Rock, Jock & Clock promotes basic basketball drills.

In Celtic Pride Workout, Pierce issues a challenge to kids: Instead of just watching a basketball game, start participating. Every time the team dunks, do five jumping jacks. For every foul shot, do five squats. For every rebound, five push. The goal is to turn spectators into participants.

The videos are just some of the tools Pierce uses. For example, he also provides kids with his personal fitness regimen, and gives parents tips on healthy, delicious meals and how to talk to their children about living a healthy, active lifestyle.

By making videos a force for healthy living, Pierce is turning children’s fascination with technology into a vehicle for getting them off the couch and into action.


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