Kids who try multiple sports are more likely to keep playing.

When your child’s next sport season ends, encourage him or her to try something new. Kids who participate in or sample several different sports are more likely to remain active throughout adolescence, according to a study published in the December issue of Pediatrics. 

The study, which was conducted over five years, found that children who were sampling several sports at the start were 50 percent more likely to still be participating in sports at the end. Also, they were less likely to become nonparticipants than those who specialized in one sport.

The study followed 756 children starting at ages 10 and 11, asking three times each year about physical activity outside of gym class, according to a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which publishes Pediatrics.

Given that only 9 percent of boys and 2 percent of girls between ages 5 and 17 get the recommended one hour of physical activity per day, researchers suggest that allowing kids to be “samplers” may help them stay active.

Read the study at