Just one in four teenagers between the ages of 12 and 15 engaged in the recommended 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in 2012, according to new data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which first lady Michelle Obama adopted for her “Let’s Move!” program, recommend that children and adolescents engage in some combination of aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening physical activity for at least one hour per day, seven days a week.
As part of its 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES, and the 2012 NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey, the CDC gathered self-reported data from children and adolescents about their daily physical activity levels. The data focuses exclusively on 774 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 15, as the survey assessed physical activity differently for younger children.
According to the teenagers’ self-reported data, only 24.8 percent engaged in at least 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, either in or out of school. Only 7.6 percent did not engage in at least an hour of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on any day of the week.
A version of this article appeared in the January 15, 2014 edition of Education Week as Physical Fitness