What is Active Living?
Active Living is about being active throughout the day at work, school and home. It is a way of life that incorporates physical activity, such as walking or biking, into daily routines.
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Physical Activity and the Health of Young People
Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity
- Helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles.
- Helps reduce the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.
- Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety and promotes psychological well-being.
- May help improve students’ academic performance, including
- Academic achievement and grades
- Academic behavior, such as time on task
- Factors that influence academic achievement, such as concentration and attentiveness in the classroom.
Long-Term Consequences of Physical Inactivity
Overweight and obesity, which are influenced by physical inactivity and poor diet, can increase one’s risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis, and poor health status.
Physical inactivity increases one’s risk for dying prematurely, dying of heart disease, and developing diabetes, colon cancer, and high blood pressure.
Participation in Physical Activity by Young People
In a nationally representative survey, 77% of children aged 9–13 years reported participating in free-time physical activity during the previous 7 days.
In 2013, only 29% percent of high school students had participated in at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity on each of the 7 days before the survey
15.2% percent of high school students had not participated in 60 or more minutes of any kind of physical activity on any day during the 7 days before the survey.
Participation in physical activity declines as young people age.
Participation in Physical Education Classes
In 2013, less than half (48%) of high school students (64% of 9th-grade students but only 35% of 12th-grade students) attended physical education classes in an average week.
The percentage of high school students who attended physical education classes daily decreased from 42% in 1991 to 25% in 1995 and remained stable at that level until 2013 (29%).
In 2013, 42% of 9th-grade students but only 20% of 12th-grade students attended physical education class daily.