One Third of Children Don't Meet Fitness Standards
A new study has found that about one third of American kids are not physically
fit. Findings of the study show that boys tend to be more fit than girls. Fitness
is important, because it helps decrease the chances of developing high blood
pressure, high cholesterol and chronic diseases.
The research looked at 3,287 children ages 12 to 19. They were all participants
in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2002.
The children took part in treadmill tests, during which examiners measured their
blood pressure and heart rate, and asked the children how hard they felt their
bodies were working. The examiners determined that only 65 percent of the children
were physically fit.
The children who spent the most time playing video games and watching television
and who spent the least time in physical activity were least likely to be fit.
The researchers recommend that families and schools make major changes, such
as including more gym classes during school, encouraging children to walk to
school whenever safe and possible and making exercise a routine part of family
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, October 2006