More than three quarters of children in the United States are currently not meeting physical activity recommendations, putting them at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes and related chronic illnesses, according to a report issued on November 16, 2016. The 2016 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth was authored by researchers and health experts from organizations across the country that were assembled by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.
The report shows only 21.6 percent of children ages 6 to 19 meet U.S. physical activity guidelines. Further, nearly 63 percent of children are getting more than the two hours of screen time per day, which exceeds current recommended guidelines. Less than 13 percent of children walk or ride their bike to school, habits that have been associated with lower odds of obesity among children.
“Improving the results of the nation’s Report Card on physical activity for children and youth will require a multi-pronged, multi-sectoral approach to create a culture that supports and encourages positive movement experiences for children,” said Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer for American Council on Exercise. “ACE is proud to sponsor the Report Card and is committed to promoting the three core values of physical literacy for youth: ability, confidence and a desire to be physically active for life.”
The World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommend that children and youth engage in a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily, including vigorous-intensity activity at least three days per week.
Four key recommendations to increase physical activity among youth were included in the report:
ACE’s commitment to youth fitness is deeply integrated within the organization, including these initiatives that can help address the recommendations of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance:
The 2016 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth was released in conjunction with 37 other countries at the 2016 International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand. This is the second comprehensive assessment of physical activity in U.S. children and youth, updating the first Report Card released in 2014.
The Report Card can be downloaded from the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance website. Further information about the international release of the Report Card can be obtained from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance website. The Report Card is produced by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance’s (NPAP) U.S. Report Card Research Advisory Committee. Find more information about the Plan at www.physicalactivityplan.org.
This press release was submitted by ACE.