Encouraging Physical Activity
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Innovative Housing is helping resident youth become more physically active. According to Michelle Obama's Let's Move Initiative, "Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese." The statistics are shocking. Today's children may be the first generation to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents due to obesity and related diseases.

Unfortunately, these national statistics are even grimmer in low-income communities, with low-income children disproportionately facing negative health outcomes. To help counter these trends among our residents, IHI's Healthy Generations Program targets multiple factors contributing to poor health and obesity in low-income families, including physical inactivity among children. Only 1 in 4 low-income youth participate in any organized physical activity outside of school. Children from poor families face many barriers to extracurricular activities at school or enrolling in community classes, including cost and lack of transportation.

Thanks to generous support from The Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust and The Collins Foundation, IHI has been able to increase opportunities to engage in organized sports and athletic classes. IHI staff helps families find classes or activities and secure scholarships when available. We also help arrange for transportation and pay fees and equipment costs as necessary. When a significant number of students expressed interest in martial arts, we brought on-site classes to our largest family site. By removing barriers to participation, IHI is helping our residents engage in team sports and develop more active lifestyles.