Betsy Hart

But this also has implications for the average youngster, for whom recess has been curtailed and playtime has too often been replaced by videogame time in recent years.

Perhaps, Hillman speculated to me, it may just be that we were designed for the physical and the mental to profoundly work together and reinforce each other. That it's such a part of our make-up that when the former is thrown off because of a modern sedentary lifestyle, it deeply subverts the latter in ways we are only now beginning to understand.

Of course, Bill Gates and his cohorts who changed the world were the product of a generation that probably "sits around" more than any other in history. An irony? Well maybe there isn't a paradox. Maybe we should just imagine what that generation could do if they were all in shape!

The bottom line, so to speak, is that in an age of obesity and desk jobs and kids parked in front of videogames, it's worth reflecting on the incredible value, to the brain and the body, of just regularly going out and taking a fast walk. Or, maybe doing what my mom used to: kicking her five kids outside and saying, "Go play until I let you back in."


Betsy Hart

Betsy Hart is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service. Her column on cultural and family issues, “From the Hart,” is distributed each week to hundreds of newspapers cross the country. Betsy’s first book, "It Takes a Parent: How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting out Kids – and What to do About It," was released in September, 2005, and was a top seller for its publisher, Putnam Books.