19-Year-Olds As (In)Active As 60-Year-Olds, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS LOCAL)–A regular jab thrown at younger generations of kids is that they’re not as active as the youth of prior years due to the proliferation of technology, making it easier for them to stay inside for entertainment rather than go outside.

That may be more than just non-scientific hearsay, because according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Physical Health, 19-year-olds roughly are as active as 60-year-olds.

The study found that between ages 20 and 35, activity levels increase. Then after 35, they begin decreasing again through midlife and adulthood.

“Activity levels at the end of adolescence were alarmingly low, and by age 19, they were comparable to 60-year-olds,” said Vadim Zipunnikov, lead author and assistant professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Biostatistics. “For school-age children, the primary window for activity was the afternoon between two and six P.M. So the big question is how do we modify daily schedules, in schools for example, to be more conducive to increasing physical activity?”

For a week straight, nearly 13,000 participants wore devices that tracked their activity. Researchers gathered data that showed not only the total amount of activity but also the times at which the most activity took place.

Researchers found that 50 percent of boys between ages 12 and 19 didn’t meet the World Heath Organization’s recommendation for activity among children while 75 percent of girls between the same age range also didn’t reach the WHO’s recommendation. The WHO suggests 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day.

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