|Basic InformationAdolescent Parenting IntroductionHealthy Teens: Food, Eating & Nutrition During AdolescenceHealthy Teens: Exercise and SportsHealthy Teens: SleepParenting Teens: Clothing Clashes, Housing Decisions, & Financial ManagementParenting Teens: Skincare, Cosmetics, Tattoos, & Piercings Caring for Teens: Healthcare for Teens and Young AdultsParenting Teens: Discipline, Love, Rules & ExpectationsA Parentís Guide to Protecting Teensí Health and SafetyAdolescent Parenting Summary & ConclusionAdolescent Parenting: References & ResourcesLatest News|Fewer U.S. Kids Binge DrinkingRegular Sleep Makes for Happier College StudentsMost U.S. Teens Aren't 'Doing It'Medications Underutilized for Treating Youth Opioid AbuseDepression Inversely Linked to Body Composition in TeensPCSK9 Increased in Females, Youth With Type 1 DiabetesOpioid Abuse Jumps 6-Fold for U.S. Youth, Too Few Get Treated: StudyAre U.S. Teens Now as Inactive as 60-Year-Olds?Many Young Americans Using Snuff, Chewing TobaccoFirst Decline Seen in 'Vaping' Among U.S. Teens: CDCFactors Predictive of Parental Intent to Vaccinate Against HPVHealth Tip: Teach Teens About Dangerous Driving HabitsTeens With ADHD Face a Higher Crash RiskPoor Sleep Habits = Poor GradesBoys More Likely to Hide a Concussion Than GirlsHealth Tip: Graduating Teens, Take Care of Your HealthOverweight Kids Pay a Heavy Social PriceTeen Boys Treated for Assault Often Want Mental Health Care, TooWhy Teen Mental Ability Surges While Brain ShrinksElite High Schools Breed Higher Risk of Addiction: StudyNew Teen Drivers Face Triple the Risk of a Fatal CrashEvidence Lacking for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis ScreeningMany Teens Ride With Impaired DriversHow to Prepare Your Teen for That First Ob-Gyn VisitU.S. Teen Births Hit Historic Low: CDCTeasing Teens About Weight May Do Lasting HarmTrends in Teen Binge Drinking Still Raise ConcernsFewer U.S. Teens Are Boozing It UpFewer U.S. High School Students Drink, CDC FindsEarly Puberty in Girls May Be Risk Factor for Physical, Sexual AbuseHealth Tip: Teach Teens About Sun SafetyIs Early Puberty in Girls a Risk Factor for Dating Abuse?Bullied in 5th Grade, Prone to Drug Abuse by High SchoolPot a Factor in More ER Admissions for Colorado Teens After LegalizationTeen Suicide Thoughts, Self-Harm Cases Double in a DecadeReasons Why Parents Should Be Wary of '13 Reasons Why'Depression's Gender Gap Shows Up in Pre-Teen YearsHealth Tip: Parents, Set Rules About Driving for TeensRepeat Teen Births Still a Problem in United States: CDCIs Your Child Using Drugs?Puberty's Onset May Depend on DNAAt What Age Can Kids Safely Cross the Street?College Now the Place to Try Pot: StudyMoney Spent on Teen Health a Good Global InvestmentStudy Cites Factors Linked to Suicide in the YoungEarly School Start Times Tough on TeensMarijuana Use Higher in Pregnant Teens Than Nonpregnant PeersRegular Phys Ed Builds More Than FitnessWater Outperforms Sports Drinks for Young AthletesCross-Sex Hormones Appear to Be Safe for Transgender TeensQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Are U.S. Teens Now as Inactive as 60-Year-Olds?
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jun 16th 2017
FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Here's some compelling evidence that Americans have become a sedentary bunch: Research suggests that the average teen is no more active than the average 60-year-old.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 12,500 people of various ages who wore activity tracking devices for seven straight days as part of national health surveys conducted between 2003 and 2006.
The study found that physical activity levels among children and teens were lower than previously thought. The World Health Organization recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a day for children ages 5 to 17.
But in the study, more than 25 percent of boys and 50 percent of girls aged 6 to 11 and more than 50 percent of males and 75 percent of females aged 12 to 19 did not reach the WHO guidelines, according to the researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
"Activity levels at the end of adolescence were alarmingly low, and by age 19, they were comparable to 60-year-olds," senior study author Vadim Zipunnikov said in a Hopkins news release. He is an assistant professor in the department of biostatistics.
"For school-age children, the primary window for activity was the afternoon between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.," Zipunnikov said. "So, the big question is, how do we modify daily schedules, in schools, for example, to be more conducive to increasing physical activity?"
The study also found that the only increases in physical activity levels occurred among young adults during their 20s. Activity levels fell through midlife and older adulthood.
In all age groups, males tended to be more active than females. However, after midlife, men's activity levels fell sharply compared to females. And among adults aged 60 and older, men were more inactive and had lower light-intensity activity levels than females.
The researchers also identified different times throughout the day when activity was highest and lowest among the different groups. They said this information could help boost physical activity by targeting times with the least activity, such as during the morning for children and teens.
The study was published online recently in the journal Preventive Medicine.
While WHO recommendations focus on moderate-to-vigorous activity, even low-intensity physical activity should be encouraged, the researchers suggested.
"The goal of campaigns aimed at increasing physical activity has focused on increasing higher-intensity exercise. Our study suggests that these efforts should consider time of day and also focus on increasing lower-intensity physical activity and reducing inactivity," Zipunnikov said.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more on physical activity.
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