Pump Up at School

High school students are not getting enough daily exercise

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Are your kids getting enough exercise every day? According to new information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they're probably not. 

Health professionals are constantly stressing the importance of exercise, as it is especially important in young people for healthy development, but a recent study finds that most teens aren't getting enough.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) performed the National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS) to determine if high school students, grade 9-12, are meeting daily requirements for physical activity. The study included all states and the District of Columbia.

"Push your high school student to exercise often."

In order to determine if students met the requirements for daily physical activity, researchers used the Healthy People 2020 (HP 2020) guidelines. These guidelines state that students need at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity daily and muscle-strengthening exercise at least 3 days a week.

CDC researchers found 15.3 percent of high school students met the aerobic activity objective. About half of the participants in the study – 51 percent – met the HP 2020 objective for muscle-strengthening at least 3 days a week. Only 12.2 percent of the students met the requirement for both aerobic and strengthening exercises.

CDC found that underweight and normal boys were more likely to meet HP 2020 goals than girls. They also found white students were more likely to meet the guidelines than Hispanic and black students.

Schools, state and local health agencies need to work together to help increase physical activity in students all over that nation, says the CDC. Parents should also encourage children to be more active by having family outings, joining sports clubs, riding bikes or taking walks together.

Researchers collected data from 11,429 students by using surveys and height and weight measurements.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 21, 2011
Last Updated:
June 23, 2011