Study Shows Kids Are Less Fit than Their Parents Were

An analysis of studies on millions of children around the world finds they don’t run as fast or far as their parents did when they were young.

On average, it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their parents did 30 years ago. For children ages nine to 17 heart related fitness has go down five percent since 1975.

Health experts recommend that children six and older get 60 minutes of moderately vigorous activity accumulated over a day. Only one third of American Kids do now.

The new study led by Grant Tomkinson, an exercise physiologist at the University of South Australia. Researchers analyzed 50 studies on running and fitness- a key measure of cardiovascular health and endurance- involving 25 million children ages nine to 17 in 28 countries from 1964 to 2010.

The study measured how far the children could run in five to 15 minutes and how quickly they ran a certain distance, ranging from half a mile to two miles. The study concluded that today’s kids are 15 percent less fit than their parents were.

The decline in fitness seems to be leveling off in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and possibly in North America. However, it continues to fall in China, and Japan never had much of a fall off-fitness has remained consistent there.

About 20 million of the 25 million were from Asia.

Experts and educators blame obsession with academic testing scores for China’s competitive college admissions as well as a proliferation of indoor entertainment options like gaming and web surfing on a decline.

In the United States too much time watching television and playing video games and unsafe neighborhoods with not enough options for outdoor play  also play a role in children’s amount of fitness.

World Health Organization numbers suggest that 80 percent of young people globally may not e getting enough exercise.

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