Nearly 60% American Kids Lagging In Cardiorespiratory Fitness: AHA

by Paromita Datta published on -

Despite persistent efforts to educate on better health practices, the cardiorespiratory fitness in children is still far short of the ideal. A study by the American Heart Association, published in its flagship journal, Circulation, found that nearly 60 percent of American children lack a healthy cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Also known as aerobic fitness, CRF is an important health measurement because it shows the body’s ability to supply our muscles with oxygen during physical activity.

Boys playing football on a sports field

Physical activity is critical for a child’s cardiorespiratory health. Photo Caption: Shutterstock

Children with healthy CRF are likely to live longer and lead a healthier life as adults. Studies have linked it to better mental health, life satisfaction, clearer thinking, and academic achievement. On the other hand, children with unhealthy CRF are at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and premature heart disease. They are also at an increased risk of premature death from a stroke or heart disease.

However, the level of CRF in children has been dropping in the US and internationally. Lack of physical activity was cited as the main reason for the decline. The paper asked for more inclusion of physical activity for children in schools. It also pointed out that schools can easily carry out CRF tests by themselves. This could be shared with healthcare professionals in the same manner as immunization records. In addition, there is also a need for providing nutritious food in lower-income families.

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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She has completed an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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