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Regular exercise and physical activity are extremely important and beneficial for long-term health and well-being. For a comprehensive resource, see "Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General."

Health Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity:

       Reduce the risk of premature death

       Reduce the risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease

       Reduce high blood pressure or the risk of developing high blood pressure

       Reduce high cholesterol or the risk of developing high cholesterol

       Reduce the risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer

       Reduce the risk of developing diabetes

       Reduce or maintain body weight or body fat

       Build and maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints

       Reduce depression and anxiety

       Improve psychological well-being

       Enhanced work, recreation, and sport performance



Participation in recreation activities leads to well-balanced, healthy and physically-active children. The early years are critical. Considerable evidence exists that circumstances in the first years of a child's life have lifelong impacts on their health, learning, and coping skills. Recreation can play a positive role in this development.

Participation in recreation programs and activities benefits children in many ways:
.. Promotes good physical and emotional development in children; develops motor skills and stimulates intellectual, emotional and social growth.
.. Develops social skills; i.e. relating to others, learning social roles and reinforcing behavioral norms
.. Builds positive self esteem and self worth; children gain a sense of achievement from mastering skills which leads to higher achievement and better results in school.
.. Develops life and leaderships skills by participating in team and sport activities, being group leaders, making decisions and solving problems
.. Facilitates long term health benefits; i.e. physical activity.
.. Reduces the risk of disease such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis
.. Stimulates children's minds and creative thinking through play, games and creative programs.
.. Fosters an awareness of the larger community and cross cultural understanding.
.. Enables children with disorders to achieve the same level of social, physical and academic competencies as their peers.
.. Develops positive attitudes towards the importance of
recreation and leisure in contributing to healthy, active lifestyles.

Other benefits to children and families include:
.. Recreation provides positive role models for children
.. Recreation is a strong mitigating factor in reducing child and family poverty.
.. Recreation contributes to a healthier, stable family life when parents participate in their children's recreation activities.
.. Providing recreation for children is associated with good outcomes for mothers.
.. Subsidizing recreation for children who cannot afford to pay, pays for itself through reduced use of social and health services.
.. Recreation provides fun, safe learning environments for children.

Stacy K. Barr
Department of Community Services
Town of Oxford


Town of Oxford, 325 Main Street, Oxford MA 01540
Hours: M-F 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Town of Oxford is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer    Virtual Towns & Schools