Today’s kids aren’t doing as well as dear old dad (or mom) when it comes to physical fitness.
Ryan Jaslow at CBS.news.com reports on new research that analyzed fifty fitness studies done over the past fifty years. The researchers found today’s kids run slower and have less endurance than kids from their parents’ generation.
The studies included fitness results on more than twenty-five million kids from twenty eight countries. Researchers focused on cardiovascular endurance, in particular, how far kids could run in a set period of time, or how long it took them to run a set distance.
The results–kids’ cardiovascular fitness has declined by about five percent every decade since 1975. In a one mile run, children are about a full minute and a half slower than children were thirty years ago.
Overall, kids were fifteen percent less fit than their parents were as children.
The research team warns that these generational declines in running fitness may predict an unhealthier life ahead—with a higher risk for heart problems.
Lead researcher Grant Tomkinson, at the University of South Australia, says the study found between thirty and sixty percent of the fitness declines may be attributed to increases in children’s fat mass.
He calls on children to exercise for sixty minutes a day, focusing on activities like running, swimming or cycling.
For some guidelines on kids physical fitness, visit the American Heart Association’s website at heart.org and click on “Getting Healthy.”
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