According to a new study, a vast majority of adolescents around the world do not participate in enough exercise to jeopardize their current and future health.
The study, conducted by World Health Organization researchers and published in Thursday’s medical journal The Lancet, found that more than 80% of children aged 11 to 17 worldwide did not meet current recommendations of at least one hour of physical activity per day.
Study also found that girls in all but four of the 146 countries surveyed were less involved than boys. According to the report, which is based on data from 1.6 million children, 85 percent of girls were not physically active enough compared to 78 percent of boys.
The United States had one of the largest gaps between girls and boys, with over 80% of surveyed girls failing to engage in enough physical activity compared to 64% of boys.
Research co-author Dr. Leanne Riley of the World Health Organization said Friday in a statement. “The trend of girls being less active than boys is concerning,” “More opportunities to meet the needs and interests of girls are needed to attract and sustain their participation in physical activity through adolescence and into adulthood.”
Most of the countries in the study 73% saw this gender gap expand during 2001 to 2016.
The U.s also experienced one of the largest decreases in the percentage of boys who were physically active enough between 2001 and 2016, from 71% to 64%.
Globally, the prevalence of insufficient physical activity in boys dropped slightly from 80% to 78% between 2001 and 2016, but there was no change in girls over time, remaining at around 85%.
Authors of the study called on governments worldwide to address factors that could perpetuate the disparities between boys and girls, including societal factors such as countries where girls are expected to perform increased domestic tasks.
In a statement on Friday, co-author Dr Fiona Bull said. “Strong political will and action can address the fact that four in every five adolescents do not experience the enjoyment and social, physical, and mental health benefits of regular physical activity.”“Policy makers and stakeholders should be encouraged to act now for the health of this and future young generations.”
The WHO recommends that adolescents engage in “moderate to vigorous exercise” for at least 60 minutes per day to promote both healthy physical development and social skills.
Improved cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and bone strength are the benefits of physical activity during youthfulness. According to the WHO, there is proof that many of these advantages will continue into adulthood.


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