News | Published November 24 2019

WHO: Eighty per cent of children insufficiently active

The World Health Organization have released a study which indicates that 80 per cent of children aged between 11 and 17 are not exercising enough.

The recommended one hour of exercise a day is a global problem, with no clear disparity due to the country’s wealth, claim the organisation.

Girls were less active than boys in over 95 per cent of the countries surveyed.

The WHO suggests a target of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise on a daily basis for all those between 11 and 17 years old.

Professor Fiona Bull, of the organization, says "I don't regard it as a ridiculous target”.

She continues "It is evidence-based to establish good health and development."

Professor Bull notes that the study "tells us something universal but it's not about children. It's the neglect and failure of us to prioritise physical activity - and that seems to be worldwide."

She concludes "children are not lazy”.

Being active throughout one’s life has been linked to a decreased risk of a number of health concerns, which range from heart attacks to type-2 diabetes.

One factor which has been attributed to the low uptake of exercise is the prioritisation of academia over fitness.

Leanne Riley, one of the authors of the report, notes that "young people in this age group are very encouraged to work hard, to study for exams”.

She continues "often for very long periods of the day, they're sitting in school doing homework and then they're not getting these opportunities to be more active."

Riley also suggests that safe access to sporting facilities played a part in the study’s findings.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
November 24 2019

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