How physically active are American children and what can we do about it?

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Any discussion of obesity in youth must consider physical activity level or energy output. Many suggest that increasing levels of obesity among children is the direct result of declining levels of physical activity. There is accumulating evidence that physical activity among youth has declined over the past several decades. Less time is spent on physical education classes in school and many popular activities among youth such as television and computer games, involve minimal physical exertion. These observations are confirmed by studies of physical fitness and endurance. These measures have also declined among youth.Much has been learned about the factors associated with physical activity among youth. These factors were used to develop several innovative school-based programs which demonstrate increased physical activity and performance.Recommendations are made for increasing physical activity both in the school curriculum and outside the school day. Potential health benefits and likely effects on obesity are substantial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S12-S17
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999


  • Exercise
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity


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