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Did You Know?: Teenage Couch Potatoes

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Air date: July 27, 2008


Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

It's true: by age 15, American teens are getting far less than the recommended amount of daily exercise.

Thatís according to the recently published results of a six-year study that tracked 1,000 US kids from the time they were nine until they turned 15. The study found that at age nine most kids get more than enough physical activity. But by the time they reach their middle teens, kids average less than an hour per day of heart-rate increasing activity.

Itís no secret that as many as a third of American kids are overweight or obese, and experts have long assumed that decreased physical activity plays a role. The new study is the largest of its kind to directly measure the decline in exercise among American teens.

Although the researchers didnít investigate the causes for the decline, they point to likely culprits, including the increasing popularity of video games and more time spent online.

What worries experts is that kids who are relatively inactive by age 15 have a high likelihood of remaining inactive into adulthood. As other studies have shown, lack of proper amounts of exercise can lead to health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

And now you know.

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