The youngsters are not active. They are not moving around. They are sleeping all the time.Turns out, physical activity among children and teens is lower than previously believed.
After the age of 20, young adults only show increases in activity over the lifespan, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. And, the study found, starting at age 35, activity levels declined through midlife and older adulthood.
The study also identified different times throughout the day when activity was highest and lowest, across age groups and between males and females.
These patterns, the researchers say, could inform programmes aimed at increasing physical activity by targeting not only age groups, but also the time of the day with the least activity, such as during the morning for children and adolescents.
The findings come amid heightened concern that exercise deficits are contributing to the growing obesity epidemic, particularly among children and teens.
Activity levels at the end of adolescence were alarmingly low, and by age 19, they were comparable to 60-year-olds,” said senior author Vadim Zipunnikov. “For school-age children, the primary window for activity was the afternoon between two and six.
So the big question is how do we modify daily schedules, in schools for example, to be more conducive to increasing physical activity?”
For their study, the researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 survey cycles. The 12,529 participants wore tracking devices for seven straight days, removing them for only bathing and at bedtime.
The devices measured how much time participants were sedentary or engaged in light or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. There is every need for the parents to bring them back to the active life.