US teens' cardiorespiratory fitness has dropped in last decade: report

May 28, 2014
U.S. teens' cardiorespiratory fitness has dropped in last decade: report
Overweight kids have worse fitness levels than those of normal weight.

(HealthDay)—More and more U.S. teens now fall short when it comes to cardiorespiratory fitness, a new government report shows.

Using a specific measure, the researchers found that only about half of boys and one-third of girls between the ages of 12 and 15 had adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. The overall percentage of fit teens went from 52.4 percent in 1999 to 42.2 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cardiorespiratory fitness involves the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to support continuous physical activity. It's measured by , also known as VO2max. This is the greatest capacity of the body to use oxygen during exercise.

Regardless of their age, boys had better cardiorespiratory fitness than girls, according to data gleaned from national surveys. Although levels of cardiorespiratory fitness among teens did not vary by race or income, the survey data revealed this measure of fitness did decline as weight increased.

A smaller percentage of overweight and obese young people had adequate levels of than teens who maintained a normal weight. This is particularly significant, given that about one in five U.S. teens between the ages of 12 and 19 is obese.

Explore further: Higher midlife fitness linked to lower all-cause dementia risk

More information: The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on teen health and physical activity.

Related Stories

Simvastatin blunts benefits of exercise in overweight, obese

June 28, 2013

(HealthDay)—Cholesterol-lowering therapy with simvastatin reduces the physiological responses to aerobic exercise training in overweight or obese adults who are at increased risk for metabolic syndrome, according to research ...

Fitness impacts concentric remodeling, diastolic function

May 8, 2014

(HealthDay)—Low cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with increased concentricity and diastolic dysfunction, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.