Three-Fourths of U.S. Children Aren't Meeting Physical-Activity Guidelines

Three-fourths of children across the United States aren't meeting the recommended amount of physical activity per week, according to a report card released Wednesday from the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.

The World Health Organization and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggest children participate in 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, such as running or swimming, along with vigorous-intensity activity at least three days per week.

Based on data from the 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey—the latest national report with up-to-date physical-activity data using accelerometers—just over one-fifth of youths between the ages of 6 and 19 participated in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least five days per week. Overall, more boys (26.0 percent) met the recommendations than girls (16.9 percent), but as children grow older, there's a significant decline in physical activity across genders.

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