More than half of the children in the US do not get the recommended amount of physical activity every week, a new study has revealed.
The researchers say that only five percent of children reach the goal of 60 minutes a day or 420 minutes a week.
In addition, children who have received the recommended amount work longer in fewer days, increasing the risk of injury and burnout.
The team from the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, hopes that the findings will encourage physicians to more closely monitor their young patients and say "exercise recipes" to make sure they stay healthy.
A new study has found that more than half of US children do not receive the recommended amount of physical activity every week (image file).
For the study, over a three-year period, the team examined more than 7,800 children between the ages of five and 18 who attended outpatient pediatric sports medicine clinics.
Children were considered active when given 60 minutes a day or 420 minutes a week, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
The results showed that 49.6 percent of the children were not active enough and 5 percent had no physical activity.
Only 5.2 percent of the children reached the daily recommended goals.
In addition, the boys averaged 61 minutes more per week than girls.
The researchers also found that the likelihood of boys meeting the 420 recommended minutes per week is 39 percent higher than girls.
Obese children are bad at school
Obese children perform worse at school and have poor coping skills, according to a new study.
Researchers analyzed responses from nearly 23,000 parents and carers for children aged 10 to 17 from the 2016 National Child Health Survey.
The Brown University team in Rhode Island investigated the relationship between the body mass index (BMI) and five "blooming" markers.
"Flourishing" is a fairly new term that refers to a child general well-being, learning and resilience.
Signs included interest in learning new things, getting work done, staying calm in a challenge, taking care of doing well at school, and finishing homework.
The results showed that 27.5 percent of obese children with a 95th percentile BMI had all five markers.
In comparison, 36.5 percent of obese children with 85 percentile BMI had all five markers and 39 percent of children with normal BMI.
The main author Dr. Natasha Gill of Brown University's Alpert Medical School said the results show that overweight children are less likely to develop an interest in learning and a healthy relationship.
"It has been shown that individual markers of prosperity remain the same over time as a person's personality, so it may be important to monitor these markers in childhood to ensure optimal development into adulthood," she said.
"Exercise should be used as an important health sign," said abstract presenter Julie Young, a researcher at the Department of Pediatric Sports Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital.
"There are many benefits of physical activity. By answering these questions clinicians can hold important conversations with families to ensure that children receive these services. "
The team also found that physical activity increased significantly as children grew older.
While elementary school children participated in 248 to 342 minutes per week, high school students attended between 270 and 431 minutes per week.
Physical activity in early childhood is not only important for the development of motor skills, but can also create behaviors that follow children throughout their lives.
Several studies have shown that children who do not exercise have weaker muscles and bones than children who exercise regularly.
The biggest risk of physical inactivity may be a child who is overweight or obese.
Childhood obesity rates have tripled since the 1970s, with one in five children in the US and 14 percent of children between the ages of two and four being affected.
Childhood childhood obesity is now the number one parent in the US surpassing drug use and smoking.
Obesity at such an age can increase the risk of various health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke as well as the risk of obesity in adulthood.
"The possibilities for physical exercise are decreasing – less free play and less physical education in the schools," said Dr. Amy Valasek, a doctor for national pediatric hospital sports medicine.
"By asking simple questions about daily activities, clinicians can advise and provide a recipes for healthy physical activity."
The abstract will be presented on Saturday, November 3, at the National Conference and Exhibition of the 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics in Orlando, Florida.