Most High School Kids Don't Get Enough Exercise, CDC Reports

Most high school kids are not getting enough exercise, but more boys than girls are meeting official recommendations, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report showed that 15 percent of high school students in 2010 engaged in at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity seven days a week, as recommended by the CDC's public health objectives released in December.

But there was a difference between the sexes 22 percent of high school boys met the aerobic activity goal, while just 8 percent of girls did.

Overall, 51 percent of students met the goal of doing muscle-strengthening activity at least three days a week. Among boys, 65 percent met this goal, while 37 percent of girls did.

Just 12 percent of students met both of the aerobic activity and the muscle-strengthening goals.

The report was based on survey responses given by more than 11,000 students nationwide in grades 9 through 12, and on measurements of students' weights and heights taken by researchers.

The low numbers of students meeting the goals is partly due to students' low confidence levels in their physical abilities and lack of awareness of physical activity benefits, the CDC said.

Evidence has shown that enhancing school physical education programs by making classes longer or raising their intensity levels helps to increase students' physical activity, the CDC said.

The report is based on the CDC's analysis of the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS).

Pass it on: Most high school kids are not getting the amount of exercise they should, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

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Live Science Staff
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