Exploring adolescent physical activity in the UK

The current recommended physical activity guidelines for younger people to maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve health is at least 60 minutes of moderate, to vigorous intensity activity per day. This should include aerobic activity, and muscle and bone strengthening activities. In order to gain additional health benefits and well-being Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes is required. (National Health Department 2012, World Health Organisation. 2011) According to the BHF (British Heart Foundation), only 32% of boys and 24% of girls are meeting the current physical activity recommendations in England.

In Scotland, 75% of boys and 72% of girls are meeting the guidelines. In England, boys spend on average 427 minutes and girls spend 460 minutes being sedentary per day. In 2009, Ireland were reported the most regularly exercising country in the EU, whereas Bulgaria was reported to have the lowest involvement of exercise. The UK was reported 8th most regularly exercising country with a percentage of 14%. (British Heart Foundation 2012) According to CDC (centres for disease control and prevention) (2011) 13. 8% of high school youth’s did not participate in 60 minutes of physical activity within the week of the survey, in the United States.

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However 71. 3% of high school youth’s was physically active during the week of the survey. Although this does not mean they have met the current physical activity guidelines. (Division of Population Health/School Health 2011) Benefits of regular Physical Activity. By participating in regular activity it helps maintain and improve health. Regular activity increases cardio respiratory, decreases blood pressure, increases high density lipoprotein cholesterol, boosts immune system and maintains flexibility.

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