According to troubling new data, 75 percent of adolescents in the United States are not receiving enough physical activity. Interestingly, researchers from the University of Georgia have shown that a lack of physical activity is particularly prevalent among teenage females.
On a more upbeat note, the authors of the research point out that the setting of a student’s school may have a significant role in the degree to which they engage in physical exercise. The group believes that schools have an influence, for better or worse, on the behaviors that students engage in, such as the regularity with which they engage in physical activity and their eating habits.
School plays an important role
The team conducting the study had a hunch that the culture of the school plays a significant influence in influencing the degree to which pupils feel at ease taking part in athletics or other types of physical activity. When we talk about the “environment” of a school, we’re referring to a variety of aspects, such as social support, safety, and bullying.
These results are based on a survey that was administered throughout the state of Georgia to more than 360,000 high school students. Researchers inquired about each teen’s participation in physical activity as well as the general atmosphere at their school.
35 percent fewer female adolescents than male adolescents’ peers reported engaging in physical exercise (57 percent ). Notably, the frequency with which both genders engaged in physical exercise decreased as they moved up in school levels (from the ninth to the twelfth grades).
In spite of this tendency, when a school’s environment was very friendly to physical activity, both male and female students ended up engaging in greater physical activity overall.
The issue of bullying came up as a problem that should be addressed. It was shown that bullied teenage females were more likely to participate in physical activity, whereas the converse was true for bullied teenage guys. The authors of the study hypothesize that this may have something to do with gender norms towards fitness.