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Research: children worldwide are too inactive


A new study led by the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the ‘majority of adolescents worldwide are not sufficiently physically active, putting their current and future health at risk’. The study shows that urgent action is needed to increase physical activity levels in girls and boys aged 11 to 17 years.

Published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, the study finds that more than 80 percent of school-going adolescents globally did not meet current recommendations of at least one hour of physical activity per day – including 85 percent of girls and 78 percent of boys.

The assessment included all types of physical activity, such as time spent in active play, recreation and sports, walking and cycling or other types of active travel, physical education and planned exercise.

The study is based on data reported by 1.6 million 11 to 17-year-old students across 146 countries between 2001 and 2016.

In the journal, the authors state:

Young people have the right to play and should be provided with the opportunities to realise their right to physical and mental health and wellbeing. That four in every five adolescents do not experience the enjoyment and social, physical, and mental health benefits of regular physical activity is not by chance, but a consequence of political choices and societal design.’

More information

Read journal article