A new study says 91 percent of United States high school students are not getting the recommended amount of exercise. What’s worse, is the research suggest that the lack of fitness related activities may well follow them into adulthood, Medical Xpress reported.
Dr. Kaigang Li, a Colorado State University assistant professor for the department of health and exercise science led the study that followed 561 sophomores in 44 high schools over the course of four years.
This study really confirms the low levels of physical activity in adolescents, which appear to be maintained over time as they transition into young adulthood.
Each of the subjects wore an accelerometer device that tracked how much they moved during a week.
Based on the Center for Disease control recommendations that adolescents get at least 60 minutes exercise every day, only 9 percent of the students studied did. The findings were published online in Pediatrics.
“This study really confirms the low levels of physical activity in adolescents, which appear to be maintained over time as they transition into young adulthood,” Peter Katzmarzyk, a professor at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, told Medical Xpress.
“Any way that we can increase physical activity levels in adolescence might translate into maintaining higher levels of physical activity in young adulthood,” Dr. Li said. “So physical education in high school is certainly an important outlet for this.”
However, according to the CDC, only 29 percent of high school students participated in a daily physical education class in 2013. In 1991, it was 42 percent, and in 1995 the figure went down to 25 percent.
Li said colleges and communities can do more to promote exercise among their residents. “Communities could create more walkable environments, public parks, bike trails, or low-cost or free exercise programs,” Li told Medical Xpress.