Today’s kids are definitely more intelligent and street smart than their parents. But when it comes to health they fail to keep up with their parents.
According to the findings of a new study, kids today are, on average, 15 percent less fit than what their parents were as youngsters. Also, kids across the globe are getting less heart fit with heart-related fitness levels receding 5 percent per decade since 1975.
The findings of the study are based on analysis of 50 studies gauging fitness levels of kids between 1964 and 2010. The studies involved more than 25 million children aged 9 to 17 in 28 countries.
The studies typically looked at endurance i.e. how far one could run or walk in a set time.
Results revealed that endurance levels had declined significantly over the years.
A kid today takes a minute and a half more to cover a one-mile distance than a typical child in 1975, researchers highlighted. The heart endurance also plunged an average 6 percent in all three decades from 1970 to 2000.
Globally, stamina levels dropped by about 5 percent per decade, researchers highlighted.
Overall, kids today are 15 percent more unhealthy than their parents.
“If a young person is generally unfit now, then they are more likely to develop conditions like heart disease and diabetes later in life,” study’s lead author, Grant Tomkinson, senior lecturer at the University of South Australia’s School of Health Sciences, pointed.
Reversing the trend is difficult but not impossible
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, especially in childhood years, is vital to curb the looming epidemic, researchers averred.
Cutting on screen time, eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugars and junk food and indulging in outdoor sports will definitely reap healthy results.
“The health care system is going to become overrun with people suffering from premature heart attack, high blood pressure and diabetes,” Tomkinson warned. “It’s going to be a major problem. If this continues, 20 years down the road we may not be able to fix it.”