New research indicates that a large majority of teens don’t get enough exercise, especially teenage girls.
A study by the University of Georgia found that 75% of high school students in the state do not meet daily physical activity guidelines. The study surveyed over 360,000 students (48% boys and 52% girls) about their level of physical activity as well as their school environment.
“Over time, the state has observed a decline in physical activity levels among all teens, but the rate is higher among female middle and high school students,” said the study’s lead author. , Janani Thapa, in a university press release.
Overall, only 35% of assessed female students were considered active, compared to 57% of male students. The study noted that physical activity decreased as students progressed from grades 9 to 12.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children and teens ages 6 to 17 should get one hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a day.
On a positive note, there are some things schools can do to help their students be more active.
“Recess times, physical facilities and social environments in schools have been found to affect students’ physical activity,” Ms. Thapa said.
Something to note: the study found that female students who reported being bullied were more likely to exercise. The opposite was found among male students.
“For example, female students who play sports and are physically active may not fit the gender norm and therefore may be bullied,” Ms Thapa said.