iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — High school students who get little physical activity continue not to move enough as they become young adults, according to a new study published in Pediatrics.
Researchers followed the physical activity levels of more than 500 10th grade students for four years using accelerometers – devices that measure participants’ daily movement. They found that less than 9 percent of students got the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, and that those students who got little exercise in 10th grade continued to have low levels of physical activity after graduation.
Students who reported planning to exercise were more likely to be physically active, and adolescents were more active during weekdays than they were on weekends. Students whose Body Mass Index (BMI) increased over time had lower levels of physical activity, suggesting that interventions to promote physical activity may be most important for this group.
Following the adolescents over time, the researchers found that low levels of physical activity in 10th grade were predictive of low levels of physical activity later on, suggesting that exercise patterns start to solidify during high school.
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