1 out of 4 Adolescents Engaged in Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which have been adopted by the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that youth participate in daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes. This report presents the most recent national data from 2012 on self-reported physical activity among youth aged 12–15 years, by sex and weight status. This report also describes the most common types of physical activities—outside of school-based physical education (PE) or gym classes—in which youth engage.The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which have been adopted by the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that youth participate in daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes. This report presents the most recent national data from 2012 on self-reported physical activity among youth aged 12–15 years, by sex and weight status. This report also describes the most common types of physical activities—outside of school-based physical education (PE) or gym classes—in which youth engage.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2012, about one-quarter of U.S. youth aged 12–15 years engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes daily.
  • Basketball was the most common activity reported among active boys, followed by running, football, bike riding, and walking.
  • Running was the most common activity among active girls, followed by walking, basketball, dancing, and bike riding.
  • The percentage of male youth who were physically active for at least 60 minutes daily decreased as weight status increased.
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