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  • Only 25% of US Youth Meet Daily Exercise Goal

    Despite a 4-year-old national initiative to encourage at least 1 hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day, only about a quarter of US youth are actually meeting that goal. The findings were part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report (.pdf) that examined activity patterns in 2012.

    The study used self-reported data on youth aged 12-15 to get a picture of activity rates broken down by sex, weight status, and type of activities. Among the findings:

    • Though 24.8% of youth reported daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, 60.2% of males and 49.4% of females reported engaging in this level of activity at least 5 days a week.
    • Small percentages of youth reported engaging in no physical activity on any day of the week—6.4% for males, and 8.7% for females.
    • Researchers defined the gap in every-day activity rates among males (27%) and females (22.5%) as "not a statistically significant difference."
    • Among males, normal-weight and overweight boys engaged equally in every-day activity (29.5%), but the rate dropped off for obese boys (18%). Among females, the rates did not differ as dramatically, with 24.1% of normal-weight girls, 20.1% of overweight girls, and 19.5% of obese girls reporting daily moderate-to-vigorous activity.
    • The most popular activities for males were basketball (48%), running (33.5%), and football (27.4%); females' top activities were running (34.9%), walking (27.6%), and basketball (21.4%).

    Check out the article in the November 2013 issue of PT in Motion (free to APTA members) for an overview of how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are working to increase rates of activity in youth.

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