According to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of adolescents aged 12 to 15 are considered physically unfit.
The authors of the study tested more than 600 young teenagers on treadmills to measure cardiorespiratory fitness, a measure of how well the heart and lungs can move blood to supply muscles during exercise.
The researchers found that just half of all boys and only a third of all girls in the study met the bare minimum threshold of being called "fit." Taken as a whole, this meant that only 42 percent of kids were fit. In 2000, by comparison, this figure was 52 percent --- lackluster for sure, but still a majority.
Not surprisingly, overweight and obese children were less fit than those who had a healthy weight; only 30 percent of overweight children and 20 percent of obese passed the minimum standards to be called fit. But even so, only 54 percent of children with normal weight --- barely half --- had adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.
Dr. Jaime Gahche, the lead author of the report, said the solution is clear --- children simply need to get up and move.