Michelle Obama at the White House. Image: gademocrats/Flickr/CC BY
Michelle Obama at the White House. Image: gademocrats/Flickr/CC BY

First Lady Michelle Obama, along with more than 20,000 other people across the nation, will attempt to earn a place in the Guinness World Record book next week. In a partnership with National Geographic Kids, Obama wants to break the world’s record for the most people doing jumping jacks over a 24-hour period.

Children and adults nationwide

According to the Associated Press, Obama is recruiting kids and adults of all ages across the nation to participate in the event and to become part of the record. She and hundreds of school children will perform jumping jacks on the White House South Lawn between 3 p.m. on Oct. 11 and 3 p.m. on October 12.

Not necessary to be in Washington, D.C.

To qualify, participants do not have to be present in Washington, D.C., but they do have to follow the event rules. Qualifying participants must do jumping jacks for a solid minute at some point in the 24-hour period to be counted. The previous record to beat is 20,425 people. That record was set on March 22, 2011.

Guinness officials

Guinness officials will arrive in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to signal the beginning of the 24-hour event and to verify the record.

Children and adults are being encouraged to participate by organizing jumping jack events across the nation. Groups of a hundred or more will earn a special certificate commemorating their participation. Rules, official locations and other information are available on the National Geographic Kids’ Let’s Jump! website.

Fighting childhood obesity

The record-breaking event is one of many programs in the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign, designed to combat childhood obesity in the U.S. According to the Let’s Move! website, childhood obesity in the U.S. has tripled in the last 30 years. “The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese,” the site says.

Sources

AOL: http://www.aol.com/2011/10/06/michelle-obama-world-record_n_998022.html?ir=Weird%20News#s387517&title=Worlds_Smallest_Living
NBC: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/First-Lady-Michelle-Obama-Shooting-For-Jumping-Jack-World-Record-131211249.html
National Geographic Kids: http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/letsjump/about-lets-jump.html
Let’s Move: http://www.letsmove.gov/learn-facts/epidemic-childhood-obesity

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