Georgia teens ranked 5th most sedentary

Teens in Georgia may need to get out more. At least according to a study, done by SleepCycle, that said Georgia ranked fifth in the country in least active teens.

The data is collected from voluntary user-reported activity. Georgia teens recorded the fifth least amount of daily exercise. The only states with more sedentary teens were Mississippi, Vermont, New Mexico and West Virginia.

Albany Middle School Health and P.E. Teacher Latressa Whatley said she thinks one reason why teens may be so inactive is because of the messages they're surrounded with and the lifestyles they have grown accustomed to.

"I think the biggest problem is that we're competing with the fast food industry," said Whatley. "Our children and their parents are in a fast-paced world that's what we live every day. So it's easy to go by and pick up something that's cheaper to eat."

Whatley said she tries to teach her students to take charge of their own health by monitoring what they're eating.

"Reading food labels is very important. That's something that we try to stress and teach in our health classes. It's very important that you read the food labels so you'll know exactly what it is that you're consuming and how much you're consuming," Whatley explained.

Whatley also explained that it takes a group effort to create that lifestyle change.

"Our parents and our children need to make time together to exercise. It's actually an epidemic now. A lot of our kids are obese, morbidly obese, high blood pressure, diabetes and as adults we have to educate our children as much as we can," she added.

She said ultimately she tries to promote long-lasting health habits.

"We want them to be able to participate in activities that are going to be life-long activities. Not just basketball or soccer. These are things that as you get older you may not be able to participate in so we want them to understand that it's ok walk but walk at a fast pace. Get your heart rate up," said Whatley. "Participate in things that you can do throughout your lifetime."

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