Fitness Benefits For Teens
- Teens and young adults, both male and female, benefit
from physical activity.
- Physical activity does not need to be strenuous to be
- Moderate amounts of daily physical activity are
recommended for people of all ages. This amount can be
obtained in longer sessions of moderately intense
activities, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes, or in
shorter sessions of more intense activities, such as
jogging or playing basketball for 15-20 minutes.
- Greater amounts of physical activity are even more
beneficial, up to a point. Excessive amounts of physical
activity can lead to injuries, menstrual abnormalities, and
- Nearly half of American youths aged 12-21 years are not
vigorously active on a regular basis.
About 14 percent of young people report no recent physical
activity. Inactivity is more common among females (14%)
than males (7%) and among black females (21%) than white
- Participation in all types of physical activity
declines strikingly as age or grade in school increases.
- Only 19 percent of all high school students are
physically active for 20 minutes or more, five days a week,
in physical education classes.
- Daily enrollment in physical education classes dropped
from 42 percent to 25 percent among high school students
between 1991 and 1995.
- Well designed school-based interventions directed at
increasing physical activity in physical education classes
have been shown to be effective.
- Social support from family and friends has been
consistently and positively related to regular physical
BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Last Editorial Review: 3/3/2003
- Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and
- Helps control weight, build lean muscle, and reduce
- Prevents or delays the development of high blood
pressure and helps reduce blood pressure in some
adolescents with hypertension.