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Stop the Comfy Couch From Becoming a Household Hazard

By M. Larson

My teen clocks enough time on the couch that I’m considering surgical removal. If you’re like most parents, you know what I’m talking about.

Research indicates that activity levels decline at a steady rate as children move into their adolescent years. According to the Surgeon General’s report on physical education and fitness, nearly half of American youths ages 12 to 21 are not vigorously active on a regular basis, and 14 percent report no activity at all.

Admittedly, our teen’s activity level needs to change.

One surefire way to get kids off the couch is to assign a chore.

It takes my son a whopping sixty seconds to escape our home at the hint of any suggestion of work. Although he moves at lightening speed, I’m not convinced that his disappearing act actually counts as aerobic exercise.

There are better ways to get him moving and I remain determined to find them. No stranger to reverse psychology, I decide this challenge required an appeal to his pride.

Like most teenagers, my son’s an expert on everything. Ask him.

“I’m getting fat,” I commented to my son as we munched on pizza while watching Monday Night Football. “Well, it would help if you got off the couch,” he said.

Ah, the couch is thy enemy, I thought.

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