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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Children's fitness levels declining

22nd December 2009

A study has suggested that the standard of children's fitness is decreasing because of their inactive lifestyles.


A team of sports experts have pointed out that their study shows that the government's concentration on obesity in children comes at the expense of a more widespread decrease in their fitness.

Researchers at Essex University carried out fitness tests on 600 children aged ten years old in 1998 and 2008. The children lived in Chelmsford, an area with low obesity levels.

They found that overall fitness levels had decreased, with 95% of children in 2008 unable to beat the average ten year old's score from a decade before.

The researchers ask the children to perform shuttle run tests of 20m on 303 ten-year-old children from six schools in 1998 and repeated the same test on children of the same age in 2008.

Lead researcher Dr Gavin Sandercock said: "The measurement of obesity alone may not be sufficient to keep an eye on children's future health. We need some form of monitoring of fitness."

"We have a generation of children who are spending more and more time in front of a screen, whether it is a TV or a computer. Schools are now trying to do more, but it is the lack of unstructured activity outside that is the problem."


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