Campus News

New study shows many teens aren’t reaching exercise goals, associate professor says

Janani Rajbhandari-Thapa, associate professor in the College of Public Health, and a team of researchers shared their new study with Consumer Affairs regarding exercise in teens.

“The length of recess, physical facilities and social environments at schools have been found to affect physical activity among students,” said Thapa. “Over time, the state has observed declining levels of physical activity among all adolescents, but the rate is higher among female middle and high school students.”

The survey of 360,000 Georgia high school students found that 75% of the students weren’t meeting their daily exercise recommendations. Also, 60% of male students were regularly physically active compared to 35% of female students.

“For example, female students who are active in sports and physically active may not fit the gender norm and hence may face bullying,” Thapa said.

The researchers concluded that students with a positive school environment, one that prioritizes physical exercise with academic rigor, are better for keeping students active. Overall, improving the school environment can improve the health of the students.