According to a new study, teenagers in the United States may be more physically inactive than believed. Research noted that their levels of physical activity are closer to that of the more elderly population. Much more than to the ones recommended by health specialists
This new study was conducted by researchers part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and was led by Vadim Zipunnikov. Research results are available in the journal Preventive Medicine.
Physically Inactive Teens, Sedentary Adults
The study involved over 12,500 participants of different ages. These were asked to wear physical activity tracking devices all throughout a week. These records were all gathered as part of larger health surveys, carried out in between 2003 to 2006.
The World Health Organization recommends that young children and teenagers perform moderate to vigorous activity for around 60 minutes on a daily basis.
However, according to the study’s observations, this target remained largely unmet. For the 12 to 19 age group, over 50 percent of boys and 75 percent of girls did not reach the physical activity recommendation.
The same could be said about younger children as well. In the 6 to 11 age group, 25 percent of the boys and 50 percent of the girls did not meet the recommended target.
According to records, these physical inactivity levels reported a change only among 20-something-year-olds. During this period, young people were noted to be more physically active when compared to their younger days. However, during midlife and adulthood, the same levels of activity marked a sharp decrease.
“Activity levels at the end of adolescence were alarmingly low. By age 19, they were comparable to 60-year-olds,” stated Zipunnikov.
Reports also show that male participants seemed to be more physically active across all age groups. However, starting with midlife, their levels also presented a sharper fall when compared to that of women.
The study team also determined the different moments of the day when people were more or least likely to be physically active. Researchers believe that these results could help boost physical activity and exercise among children and teenagers. It could do so by targeting and modifying the least active periods.
Also, Zipunnikov considers that although the WHO encourages moderate to vigorous activity, even low-intensity physical exercises should be promoted in teens and children.
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