Do you think teenagers are getting enough exercise? I think teens are not getting enough exercise due to the fact that some school systems, like mine, are trying to reduce the number of minutes...

Do you think teenagers are getting enough exercise?

I think teens are not getting enough exercise due to the fact that some school systems, like mine, are trying to reduce the number of minutes there is in recess for elementry schools and trying to take gym away all together. I hate this because I am a very active person and I hate to see my friends become obese because they are not getting enough exercise.

Thanks for your input.

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Exercise is really a three-pronged activity. (1) There is activity that is formalized within school, which has been part and parcel with education at least from the beginning days of cricket! (2) There is the potential for exercise before and after school. This takes the form of walking or biking to and from school and/or playing neighborhood sports games (on the way to hang out at the mall or in front of a friend's entertainment center?!?) (3) The third is what families do together, like a romp through the park after a picnic, a round or ten of tobogganing, a game of family doubles tennis, or backyard basketball or mushball. The point here is that exercise is a lifestyle option not just an item in the school budget. Therefore, while the loss of important elements from education is truly sorrowful, the door to fitness is not closed if one, and one's friends, adopt some low- or no-tech ingenuity and enthusiasm ... I miss the long-gone days when high school fellas I was sweet on came to my door to invite me on a bike ride with our (very hip and trendy) ten-speeds or to invite me for a walk over to the school track for a trot around the wilderness trail. One must put on one's thinking cap and find exercise wherever one's feet meet Earth--or water! A plunge off the high-dive anyone?

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My school is a very small one, so pretty much anyone who tries out for a sports team makes it and gets playing time. Because of that, the teenagers I see on a daily basis are neatly split into two groups - those who play sports and get plenty of exercise, and those who do not play sports, and in general get virtually no exercise at all.

It's amazing how many students live less than a five minute walk from school but drive or beg rides on a daily basis. Our building has an elevator which is intended only for people who have a disability or an injury, but we have to watch all the time for kids sneaking on to ride it - and the building is only two floors tall!

I agree with #2 that it's easier to place blame than to do something about the problem. However I worry that the non-athletes are developing habits that will set them up fro weight issues, heart disease, and type II diabetes. However I don't think that gym class is really going to help all that much - what we need is more awareness and some sort of motivation, not specific required movement.

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Teens certainly are not getting enough exercise, which is part of the reason for the epidemic of obesity.  However, a teen can sit around and blame this on everything else, schools, the internet, or fast food, for example, or take personal responsibility for being fit.  Walk instead of driving. Take the stairs.   Don't go to the fast food places.  I don't think that the lack of recess is a reason to sit around doing nothing.  My employer does not give me a recess to get fit, and neither does my schedule, really.  But even on days when I don't have time to walk or swim, I lift some free weights in ten-minute increments or make sure I walk to do my banking or errands.  My children have never been inside a MacDonald's (or at the driveup window, either.)

Having said all that, I will admit that recess is important for children and should never have been given up to make more time for standardized tests.  There is good research to show that children who exercise perform better academically.

belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Interesting tidbit: people who fidget are thinner than people who sit still! Any body movement uses energy, so try tapping your feet or bouncing your legs, or doing isometric exercises; push your hands together as hard as you can for ten seconds.

Teens, like any other group, need to know that small exercises can add up over time. Instant gratification does not come for obesity, but just taking the stairs every day can cut risk of heart disease, clots, and cholesterol problems. Schools that eliminate recesses and gym are directly contributing to childhood obesity. Maybe we should put resistance bikes in classrooms and have the students pedal to generate electricity while they learn? Well, that might be akin to forced labor. It's definitely a problem.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having a required physical education class is one small way to get teenagers to get at least a modicum of exercise, and I agree with anyone who says that anything is better than nothing, but I teach in a school that requires four full years of gym as a graduation requirement and I would argue that that has little effect on the obesity rate at my school.  Access to exercise is only one component of weight and weight management -- eating habits, heredity, time management, etc. all play their part as well.  I do think it is important that schools "teach" the life skill of exercise and encourage and teach the health benefits that come from it.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that many teens are not getting enough exercise.  Programs like dance, PE, and other physical electives are being removed from many schools due to a lack of funding.  Some teens come home to an empty house and are left to lounge on the sofa instead of play outside.  I think many teens are not capable of understanding the long term ramifications of such actions.  It is so important for young adults to get plenty of exercise.  In our ever changing world, exercise is not always encouraged.  Teens can sit and watch TV or socialize online instead of going out with friends and finding more active things to do.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since Americans--children, teens and adults--are among the most overweight people in the world, I would have to agree that many teens don't get enough exercise. Teens aren't as active as they used to be, primarily because inside activities such as video games and TV take up time that was once used for outdoor activities. As a previous post mentioned, fast food is now the norm in many homes, so many teens rarely get a well-rounded, nutritional meal. Parents are to be faulted for much of this, including overseeing their children's physical activities.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My school is similar to #3's school, but I would argue that there are plenty of people playing sports who don't get enough exercise.  I think that all we have to look at to know that teens don't get enough exercise is their weight.  I have had plenty of players on teams I've coached who were obese and just not really capable of running around enough to get much exercise even at practice.  We had so few players that we needed them, but they sure weren't getting healthy through exercise at practice.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Teenagers don't get enough exercise if they don't play sports. In school, PE is almost always a joke. Students spend more time standing around than moving around. When they get home, they don't play outside. They sit down at a computer or tv to play video games or go on Facebook.
crystaltu001 | Student

Most teenagers are not getting the proper exercise they need, in my opinion. I often see teens who are a bit big for their actual age and others who are too thin with not much muscle. This is becoming a huge problem for our society.

jentle | Student

Generally speaking I would say no. Mainly due to technology on the rise and the quick fix mindset that is leading to obesity and and an overall laziness in our society.


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highschoolhelp7 | Student

I believe it depends on how you grew up. If your family is an active family and sports were apart of their lives, then it's automatically passed down to you. Another factor that plays into if you're active and excersising, is grades. Typically, if a student gets bad grades, they usually stay home and watch tv and make electronics the focus of their lives. But overall, i believe that teens get exercise but not enough of it to balance their eating habits and to keep them form getting obese.

tonyt42 | Student

Kids must be guided by their parents to excercise at an early age.

They sit around the house watching TV and playing video games all day because their parents found excuses for gaining wait themselves and not staying in shape.

At the very least parents should enter their kids in some sort of sport activity.

For every obese child I bet their is a parent who does not go to the gym regularly.

Sports Picks----Diet is another issue. It does not take much effort for a parent to serve a healthy meal to their children. Instead since parents eat junk food so will their kids.


wealthyboys | Student

I totally agree that kids are not getting enough exercise either organised or by their own interests. This is not always the kids fault or the schools. In the Uk over the last 12 years there was a move to make all children non competitive and no one was allowed to stand out and win. This was further enhanced by lots of schools selling off their prime land, ie sports grounds to earn extra money. Its stopped now thank goodness.



John Green

wealthyboys | Student

I totally agree that kids are not getting enough exercise either organised or by their own interests. This is not always the kids fault or the schools. In the Uk over the last 12 years there was a move to make all children non competitive and no one was allowed to stand out and win. This was further enhanced by lots of schools selling off their prime land, ie sports grounds to earn extra money. Its stopped now thank goodness.


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John Green

ritu-25 | Student

yup!!!! we teenagers r not getting enough exercise.. our school has no arrangement for co-carricular activities except for the 40 minutes of our PE class which too is spent in LECTURES..... and anything in our everyday life? it isnt possible as we are too much overloded with studies.WHO WILL ATTEND THE TUITIONS OTHERWISE???? you know i dont get the energy for self  study as more is spent than gained..

kinghtalexis | Student

Kids at school enough physcial activity to burn out calories. Its for teen who are at high school or college which are not getting the right amount of physical activity and it only worsens with time as they soon end up getting desk job which goes for a whole day.

sharma199022 | Student

Teenagers could not get better heakthuntil unless they get better exercise, food & relaxation . Side by side they have to do some yoga also.

markbenson123 | Student

Teenager are not getting enough exercise. This is bad for there health.Our schooling system is responsible for this.We can give them time for exercise in school timings .There is must be some extra lectures or events in school.if possible we should give them enthusiasm for outdoor games like Football,Rugby,Cricket.

critchley11 | Student

I believe that most teens are not getting enough exercise, yes some of it is becasue programs arent getting enough funding, but most of it is from the teens parents. If parents are sitting around then most likely so are there childern, so parents need to start setting good examples and encourging excersive within the home. Most teens follow in the foot steps of there parents, so encouragement and support needs to be made from parents.

beachgirl757 | Student

In respose to #8: I don't know if you meant it in this way, but not all "Teenagers don't get enough exercise if they don't play sports."  I do not play sports (primarily because I am not good at them and I am not competitive enough to enjoy them) but I do get exercise in other ways.  As a teenager, I had a part time job after school at a daycare.  Being a daycare teacher is not a sport but it gave me PLENTY of exercise.  Also, I have been a vegeterian and a whole foods advocate since I was in middle school.  I was involved in drama and choir.  Extracurriculars and jobs are also ways to get exercise and not just sit around the house without necessarily requiring participation in "sports".

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