Most World’s Youth Not Getting Adequate Physical Activity

Most World’s Youth Not Getting Adequate Physical Activity

A new study published in The Lancet examined global trends in physical activity among adolescents.

The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle during adolescence are well documented.  They include improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and cardiometabolic health, and positive effects on weight status.  Current evidence suggests that many of those health benefits carry forward into adulthood.  Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting a positive impact of physical activity on cognitive development and prosocial behavior.  

The authors of this study concluded that the majority of adolescents do not meet current physical activity guidelines.  Urgent scaling up of implementation of known effective policies and programs is needed to increase activity in adolescents. 

Given the role physical inactivity plays in poor mental and physical health of adolescents and young adults, including increased youth substance use, we recommend prevention professionals integrate the promotion of physical activity within their prevention programs and policies. 

We also recommend that youth fitness and sports specialists and coaches include substance use prevention programs and policies within their physical education and sports programs and activities. 

Read the full study report:

Learn more about how Prevention Plus Wellness programs integrate the promotion of physical activity and wellness lifestyles into substance use prevention:

Read about physical activity’s role in youth substance use and mental health:

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