The global average of insufficient activity among adolescents was 81% for 2016, but it was 87% in Morocco.
Rabat – Eighty-seven percent Moroccan school-going children from ages 11 to 17 are not engaging in enough physical exercise, according to a study published by the Lancet, a medical journal.
The global average of insufficient activity among adolescents was 81% for 2016, the last year that researchers collected data.
The study, “Global trends in insufficient physical activity among adolescents,” used available data sets from 146 countries to analyze how many children are not meeting recommendations for physical activity. The World Health Organization suggests children should engage in “60 min or more of daily physical activity of moderate-to-vigorous intensity.”
While nearly 85% of Moroccan boys were insufficiently active, just over 90% of Moroccan girls also did not engage in enough activity. In all but four countries, the study found that more boys met the activity guidelines than girls did.
Morocco was one of 27 countries where more than 90% of the girls met the criteria for being insufficiently active. The global average for insufficiently active boys was 78% and 85% for girls.
The World Health Organization launched an initiative to increase physical activity in 2018 called “More Active People for a Healthier World.”
The initiative targeted “a 15% relative reduction of global prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 2030 among adolescents and adults.” If the world meets the goal, less than 70% of the children in the world will be insufficiently active in 2030.
However, the Lancet study found that “levels of insufficient activity among adolescents continue to be extremely high,” and the world is not on trend to meet the goal, especially for girls.
The first global estimate of children’s activity levels came in 2008, setting the inactivity rate among adolescents as 80%.
The Lancet study’s major drawback is that all its data was self-reported. Yet, the researchers say, their study is evidence that “urgent scaling up of implementation of known effective policies and programmes is needed to increase activity in adolescents.”
The researchers used a pooled analysis of available data sets for the study, so that they could predict the trend of children’s activity levels from 2001 to 2016.