*The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.
Just nine percent of American teens are getting enough physical activity during the pandemic, a new study reveals. Researchers from the United States and Canada say that number has fallen significantly from the already paltry 16 percent getting enough exercise prior to COVID-19.
Health experts have recommended that kids get about 60 minutes of physical activity per day, especially in the midst of the pandemic, which has increased the number of sedentary habits both children and adults participate in.
“The pandemic led to the cancellation of in-person physical education classes and organized sports, gym, and recreational facility closures, and rises in screen use, which all contributed to lower physical activity for teens,” says lead author Jason Nagata, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California-San Francisco, in a media release.
Researchers discovered a link between less physical activity among teens and poorer mental health, higher levels of stress, and increased worrying about pandemic-related issues.
The study of nearly 12,000 adolescents found that teens average around two hours of physical activity per week during COVID.
“Parents should encourage their children to move more and sit less,” Nagata concludes. “Despite disruptions from the pandemic, consider doing activities as a family, going outdoors, or participating in virtual exercise classes.”
The study is published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports.