Current Fitness Status of American Youth Presented by: Jeremy Donmoyer Dave Jones
Overview • Definition of ‘Health-Related Physical Fitness’ • According to U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services • 2 Case Studies: a. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport b. New England Journal of Medicine • Review of Chapter 4 (Hastie)
Physical Activity Levels of Students at Recess • Subjects: 115 European-Americans 172 Mexican-Americans 287 Total Students • Methods: -Activity Levels observed at recess during preschool, and again approximately 2 years later at elementary level. -Activity classifications: Lay down, sit, stand, walk, very active
Results • Children expended nearly twice the energy at the preschool level at recess than at elementary recess • Less recess time at elementary level • European-American children engaged in more MVPA than Mexican-American children at both levels
How does this apply to Physical Educators? • School environments could be altered Examples: -Prompting -Provide better equipped facilities -Offer additional opportunities -Additional recess time TAKE-HOME IDEA: Beliefs of many school administrators VS. True value of recess and P.E. class
Decline in Physical Activity in Girls During Adolescence • Subjects: 1213 African-American girls 1166 White-American girls 2379 Total (ages of 9 or 10 to the ages of 18 or 19) • Methods: - Habitual Activity Questionnaires (HAQ) - Activity levels estimated using metabolic equivalents (MET) - Measures of Socioeconomic Status - Pregnancy and Smoking - Measured over span of 10 years
Conclusions • Substantial declines in physical activity occur during adolescence in girls. • By age of 16 or 17 years, 56% of African-American girls and 31% of White-American girls reported no habitual leisure-time activity. • Pregnancy was associated with decline in activity among African-American girls • Smoking was associated with decline in activity among White-American girls • A higher body-mass index was associated with decline in activity among girls of both races.
Our Role • We (future physical educators) need to stop these trends. • Instances involving pregnancy and smoking should be targets for specific interventions. • Allow students ample opportunities to discover the activity that turns them on. • Encourage students to be active and stay active for a lifetime!
Youth Activity Levels (of U.S. young people aged 12-21) • Only 1/2 regularly participate in vigorous activity • Approximately ¼ of young people walk or bicycle every day • About 14% of young people report no recent vigorous or moderate physical activity • Participation in all types of physical activity declines as age increases (statistics from U.S. Surgeon General, 1996)
Barriers of Physical Activity • 1.) Personal Factors -Age, Gender, Obesity, Knowledge • 2.) Environment of Child -Peer/Parent Influence • 3.) Electronic Media -TV, Video Games, Computer
How Fit Should Teenagers Be? • ‘Fitness’ determined by series of Health-Related Standards -Examples: 1. Fitnessgram Standards (16 yr old male: 8:30-7:00 mi run) 2. President’s Challenge Standards (13 yr old female: 7 push ups)
Focus on Activity rather than Fitness • Activity in youth is more valid estimates of fitness than test themselves • Therefore, better to focus on teenagers’ activity levels than fitness levels • Guidelines • Healthy People 2010, NASPE
What Can We Do? • Lobby for increased PE class time in schools • Provide before/after school programs • Provide students with knowledge on how to stay physically active • Individualized programs, personal goals • Encourage physical activity at home