Report Roundup

Physical Fitness

"Children's Cardiovascular Fitness Declining Worldwide"

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Across the world, children are approximately 15 percent worse off in terms of cardiovascular fitness than their parents were when they were young, according to research presented last month at a scientific meeting of the American Heart Association.

Researchers analyzed 50 studies on time changes in long-distance running performance of more than 25 million children, ages 9 to 17, from 28 countries. The studies took place between 1964 and 2010.

Beyond the overall decline in cardiovascular fitness among today's youths, the researchers found that cardiovascular endurance dropped roughly 5 percent every decade. In the United States, youths' cardiovascular fitness fell an average of 6 percent per decade between 1970 and 2000. It takes children today roughly one minute and 30 seconds longer to run a mile than it did for youths 30 years ago.

"We need to help to inspire children and youth to develop fitness habits that will keep them healthy now and into the future," said Grant Tomkinson, the study's lead author and a senior lecturer in the University of South Australia's School of Health Sciences, in a statement.

Vol. 33, Issue 13, Page 5

Published in Print: December 4, 2013, as Physical Fitness
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories