Children are weaker than ever before because they’re doing less exercise, according to a study by the University of Essex. Researchers found that 10 year olds aren’t as strong, even though they’re taller and heavier than in the 1990’s.
Dr Gavin Sandercock, who led the study, explained: “The findings speak for themselves. Year-on-year we keep finding lower and lower fitness levels suggesting children are doing less and less exercise. Inactive lifestyles are a health risk but physical fitness is the single best measure of health in childhood, adolescence and on into adulthood. Poor fitness and inactivity lead to multiple health problems in their adult life.”
Dr Sandercock added that there needed to be a move away from BMI being used in isolation to monitor health. A large study is underway which is using BMI to evaluate the effectiveness of The Daily Mile initiative. BMI is being used, despite the mass of research showing BMI does not change when you increase activity levels.
In contrast with BMI, fitness changes in response to increased activity levels. Fitness is a better measure of physical health than BMI; fitness also correlates more strongly with wellbeing and attainment.
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