Physical activity in childhood and adolescence

Actividad física en la infancia y adolescencia

author: Mikel Bringas, 

Guided by the World Health Organization and published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health magazine, the study (leiho berri batean irekitzen da) analyzes the situation between the ages of 11 and 17, and its evolution in recent years. The overall result is not positive: 85% of girls and 78% of boys do not meet the recommended minimum of physical activity.

Spain is one of the states analyzed, and compared to others in its category its situation is not bad, but in the case of girls it is noticeably worse.

In this tweet you can see an interview with the main researcher of the study:

In the same journal, Mark Temblay, leader of the Global Matrix (leiho berri batean irekitzen da) exposes some limitations of this WHO study, and some differences in the results with those obtained by the Global Matrix (leiho berri batean irekitzen da). But what seems really remarkable to me is how clear he summarizes the social changes that are occurring and that affect our daily physical activity:

To learn more about the Spanish reality, we should review the results of the PASOS (leiho berri batean irekitzen da) study of the Gasol Foundation. This study assesses the level of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, lifestyles and obesity of children (8-16 years). 10 schools of the Basque Country have participated in the study. The following image shows the main data related to physical activity and use of screens:

The following image shows that the problem grows with age, and is more serious among girls than among boys.

The following image expresses even clearer, how the problem worsens with age:

Taking into account the age, in a single image we can see the relationship between physical activity and use of screens:

Finally, let's review the data from the Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC (leiho berri batean irekitzen da)) study referring to Spain. This study aims to assess both the lifestyles and health of school adolescents (11-18 years), and the most significant characteristics of the social contexts in which they grow. It includes the analysis of the physical activity carried out, differentiated from moderate to vigorous and vigorous.

In the report for all of Spain (leiho berri batean irekitzen da), the following table summarizes the physical activity data from moderate to vigorous, differentiated by age and sex:

Expressed in an image:

 And considering family purchasing power:

Therefore, boys, young and with greater purchasing power, are more active than girls, older and with less purchasing power, in terms of moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The same results are shown referring to vigorous physical activity. The outcomes are the same as I just mentioned:

They have also published some dynamic tables, being able to filter the data by autonomy. We can find the data referring to vigorous physical activity in these tables. The following graphs show the Basque situation compared to the Spanish:

Also the main results are expressed in infographics that include «doing physical activity at least 4 days a week (outside school hours)». The value of Spain (leiho berri batean irekitzen da) is 34.8% and in the Basque Country 38%.

Following, the three main consequences-concerns I get from these three studies:

  • The situation is not optimistic, especially among girls.
  • If the general objective of Mugiment is to create an active society, haven't we started the house with the roof? Why don't we devote our main efforts to childhood and youth? Department of Education: we need you.
  • According to the Basque Health Survey (leiho berri batean irekitzen da), among those people who grew up playing chorro-morro-pico-tallo-que (leiho berri batean irekitzen da) (current adults) 20% are inactive. What will happen to the Fortnite generation?