Adolescents Worldwide Are Not Physically Active Enough, Says WHO Study

Adolescents Worldwide Are Not Physically Active Enough, Says WHO Study

According to a report by the World Health Organization, adolescents worldwide are not physically active enough and this poses a health risk to them.

How many times have you asked your adolescent to step outside and play or do some physical activity?  Recently, a WHO study found that adolescents worldwide are not sufficiently physically active. Adolescents refer to children aged 10 - 17 years. With more children spending more time on video games and virtual reality, their level of physical activity has greatly reduced and this is putting their present and future health at risk.

Adolescents worldwide are not physically active enough

A WHO study found that adolescents worldwide are not physically active enough

According to the authors of the study, lack of physical exercise is quite high in adolescents, especially girls. As a result, this is putting their current and future health at risk. Dr Regina Guthold says that urgent policy action to increase physical activity is needed now. It will also particularly aid in promoting and retaining girls’ participation in physical activity. There are many known health benefits of being physically active which include fitness of muscles, positive effects on weight, mental and social improvements. These benefits will also help the child in adulthood.

The study was published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, but produced by researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO). To stay physically healthy, you have to participate in at least an hour of physical activity per day. But the study found that 80% of school-going adolescents worldwide did not meet current recommendations. The study used data from 1.6 million 11 to 17-year-old students from 146 countries.

Recommendations of the study

Recommendations of the study

The study found that girls exercise even less than boys. Naturally, there is not enough encouragement for many girls around the world to participate in physical activities. Therefore, Dr Leanne Riley says that girls being less active than boys is concerning. Riley recommends that there should be the provision of more opportunities to meet the interest of girls. Furthermore, the government needs to address many causes of inequality, which contribute to girls' lack of participation.

Another co-author, Dr Fiona Bull, says that countries must provide necessary resources to increase physical activity. Therefore countries need to endeavour to provide more sports and active fun games. Also, they should be able to provide a safe environment for young people to engage in these activities.

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Written by

Lydia Ume