- Most adolescents are not hitting guidelines-recommended thresholds for physical activity, according to this study of 1.6 million teenagers in 146 regions.
- Girls are more inactive than boys.
Why this matters
- Authors: the need is “urgent” for action at all levels to increase physical activity levels in this age group.
- 81.0% (95% uncertainty interval, 77.8%-87.7%) of adolescents did not hit physical activity thresholds.
- 77.6% (76.1%-80.4%) of adolescent boys did not.
- 84.7% (83.0%-88.2%) of adolescent girls did not.
- Boys showed some gains from 2001 to 2016 toward increasing the percentage reaching or passing the threshold, but girls did not.
- Country income strata showed no obvious association with the percentages reaching the thresholds.
- The Asia-Pacific region had the highest percentages of adolescents with insufficient physical activity.
- High-income western countries had the highest percentages of boys with sufficient physical activity, whereas South Asian countries topped the list for girls who engage in sufficient activity.
- Analysis of cross-sectional data from 298 school-based surveys in 146 areas, covering 1.6 million students aged 11-17 years.
- Funding: WHO.
- Included only adolescents attending school.
- Does not explain why physical activity levels are low or the differences between girls and boys.