Study: Kids are less fit than their parents were - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Study: Kids are less fit than their parents were

Posted: Updated:
(AP File Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) (AP File Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE

DALLAS (AP) — Today's kids can't keep up with their parents. An analysis of studies on millions of children around the world finds they don't run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young.

On average, it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did 30 years ago. Heart-related fitness has declined 5 percent per decade since 1975 for children ages 9 to 17.

The American Heart Association, whose conference featured the research on Tuesday, says it's the first to show that children's fitness has declined worldwide over the last three decades.

"It makes sense. We have kids that are less active than before," said Dr. Stephen Daniels, a University of Colorado pediatrician and spokesman for the heart association.

Health experts recommend that children 6 and older get 60 minutes of moderately vigorous activity accumulated over a day. Only one-third of American kids do now.

"Kids aren't getting enough opportunities to build up that activity over the course of the day," Daniels said. "Many schools, for economic reasons, don't have any physical education at all. Some rely on recess" to provide exercise.

Sam Kass, a White House chef and head of first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move program, stressed the role of schools in a speech to the conference on Monday.

"We are currently facing the most sedentary generation of children in our history," Kass said.

The new study was led by Grant Tomkinson, an exercise physiologist at the University of South Australia. Researchers analyzed 50 studies on running fitness — a key measure of cardiovascular health and endurance — involving 25 million children ages 9 to 17 in 28 countries from 1964 to 2010.

The studies measured how far children could run in 5 to 15 minutes and how quickly they ran a certain distance, ranging from half a mile to 2 miles (3.2 kilometers). Today's kids are about 15 percent less fit than their parents were, researchers concluded.

"The changes are very similar for boys and girls and also for various ages," but differed by geographic region, Tomkinson said.

The decline in fitness seems to be leveling off in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and perhaps in the last few years in North America. However, it continues to fall in China, and Japan never had much falloff — fitness has remained fairly consistent there. About 20 million of the 25 million children in the studies were from Asia.

Tomkinson and Daniels said obesity likely plays a role, since it makes it harder to run or do any aerobic exercise. Too much time watching television and playing video games and unsafe neighborhoods with not enough options for outdoor play also may play a role, they said.

Other research discussed global declines in activity.

Fitness is "pretty poor in adults and even worse in young people," especially in the United States and eastern Europe, said Dr. Ulf Ekelund of the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, Norway.

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


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Bed bug infestation at money firm PIMCO, report says

    Bed bug infestation at money firm PIMCO, report says

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:55:02 GMT
    A big money management firm in New York City has been hit with a major infestation of bed bugs, according to Fox Business Network. Stock traders who do business with Pacific Investment Management Co., better known as PIMCO, told Fox Business' Charles Gasparino that hundreds of people have been relocated from one of the firm's buildings in New York City to an undisclosed upstate location after reports of widespread bed bug bites among executives and employees.
    A big money management firm in New York City has been hit with a major infestation of bed bugs, according to Fox Business Network. Stock traders who do business with Pacific Investment Management Co., better known as PIMCO, told Fox Business' Charles Gasparino that hundreds of people have been relocated from one of the firm's buildings in New York City to an undisclosed upstate location after reports of widespread bed bug bites among executives and employees.
  • Five Guys offers bacon milkshakes

    Five Guys offers bacon milkshakes

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:47:08 GMT
    Burger chain Five Guys is testing the adage that everything tastes better with bacon. It is rolling out a customizable milkshake program and along with bananas, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, you can chose bacon.  Yes that's right: a bacon milkshake.
    Burger chain Five Guys is testing the adage that everything tastes better with bacon. It is rolling out a customizable milkshake program and along with bananas, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, you can chose bacon.  Yes that's right: a bacon milkshake.
  • Cardinal, leaders meet about NYPD-community relations

    Cardinal, leaders meet about NYPD-community relations

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:43:05 GMT
    Timothy Cardinal Dolan gathered religious and city leaders with the focus of how to ease tensions between police and the community in advance of this Saturday's march to protest the death of Eric Garner. Some of the leaders in this group are rarely photographed together, let alone seated at the same table. But they were brought together over concerns about possible protest violence by the cardinal, one of the most powerful figures in the city and who commands respect across the board.
    Timothy Cardinal Dolan gathered religious and city leaders with the focus of how to ease tensions between police and the community in advance of this Saturday's march to protest the death of Eric Garner. Some of the leaders in this group are rarely photographed together, let alone seated at the same table. But they were brought together over concerns about possible protest violence by the cardinal, one of the most powerful figures in the city and who commands respect across the board.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices