New research indicates that a large majority of teens aren’t getting enough exercise, particularly teenage girls.
A study coming out of 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% males and 52% females) about how physically active they were as well as their school environment.
“Over time, the state has observed declining levels of physical activity among all adolescents, but the rate is higher among female middle and high school students,” the study’s lead author Janani Thapa said in a university news release.
On the whole, only 35% of female students assessed were considered active, compared to 57% of male students. The study did note that physical activity declined as the students moved from 9th grade to 12th grade.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that kids and teens ages 6 through 17 years should undertake an hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.
One positive note is that there are some things that schools can do to help their students be more active.
“The length of recess, physical facilities and social environments at schools have been found to affect physical activity among students,” 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 in male students.
“For example, female students who are active in sports and physically active may not fit the gender norm and hence may face bullying,” said Ms. Thapa.