How Physically Active Are Adolescents, Young Adults?

Bottom Line: Adolescents girls and young adult females (ages 12 to 29) reported less physical activity than their male counterparts and physical activity dropped off sharply during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood, with disparities by race and income seen among some groups.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Physical activity is an important health behavior and this data analysis describes patterns and duration of physical activity among adolescents and young adults. The most recent guidelines recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity for adolescents per day; for adults, 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity or an equivalent mix of the two is recommended

Who and When: 9,472 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 29 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 through 2016 and self-reported physical activity

What (Study Measures and Outcomes): Self-reported physical activity duration and exercise

How (Study Design): This was a data analysis.

Authors: Sarah Armstrong, M.D., Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and cauthors


Study Limitations: Data describe only associations; data were self-reported; the data don’t provide enough detail to understand associations among poverty, employment and physical activity indicators

Study Conclusions:










To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.