Lack of physical activity has routinely been a trend in adults in the United States, but children have gradually fallen into the inactive category.
The U.S. is not alone in the number of children labeled as unhealthy. A study of more than 70,000 teenagers in 34 nations found nearly one-third of children globally are spending three or more hours daily watching television or using computers.
According to an article on Reuters, The study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, looked at 72,845 schoolchildren aged 13 to 15 from North and South America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The children were surveyed between 2003 and 2007.
Physical activity is defined in the study as at least an hour of exercise outside of gym class at least five days a week, the article stated. The researchers found only one quarter of the boys and 15 percent of the girls were getting enough exercise by these definitions.
With the emergence of social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace, more and more teenagers are turning to technology instead of exercise. However, the study found little disparity in physical activity between children who live in rich and poor countries.
Even with action being taken nationally, such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move project, childhood obesity and inactivity is a growing problem across the globe.
What should be done to reduce childhood obesity? How much do you think the use of technology contributes to children’s lack of physical activity?