Nike behind study to make kids more active

U.S. Olympian and Nike endorser Allyson Felix wants exercise instilled in children at an early age. Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Today's youth could be the first generation in history not to outlive its parents' generation.

That's part of a new study unveiled Monday by Designed To Move, a group of organizations led by Nike, the American College of Sports Medicine and the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, that are hoping to boost physical activity among young people.

The study's eye-popping stat is that today's children are on track to have a life expectancy five years shorter than their parents.

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The report details that a child who lives in the United States becomes 75 percent less active between the ages of 9 and 15 and that, in the past 44 years, physical activity in the U.S. is down 32 percent and is projected to be down 46 percent by 2030. If money needs to be the motivator, consider this: The direct cost of inactivity will lead to a 113 percent increase in health care costs by 2030.

On Monday, Nike publicly acknowledged these efforts to team with more than 70 organizations to jump-start activity across the world.

"We need to create awareness to break this cycle," said Nike Brand president Charlie Denson.

Although technology -- mainly video games -- is usually mentioned as the enemy of physical activity, Denson disagrees.

"Technology is part of the solution," Denson said. "It's certainly a big part of our company's future. Nike+ and the FuelBand are early examples of the technology we've built that enables activity."

Track star and Nike endorser Allyson Felix, who picked up three gold medals at this year's Olympics, said attitudes have to change.

"When you do something bad in school, you are forced to run a lap," Felix said. "We know that habits about physical activity form before kids are 10 years old. So we change that. We have to give kids more positive experiences of physical activity."