Four in five young people aren’t getting enough exercise, and it’s harming their health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
It warned that girls in particular need more exercise.
The WHO, the UN’s health agency, released a report on Friday which shows the exercise habits of children and teens around the world. It is based on surveys taken between 2011 and 2016 of 1.6 million students aged 11-17, across 146 countries.
The report found that 81 per cent did not meet the WHO’s recommendation of at least an hour of physical activity a day. That can include walking, playing, or taking part in organised sports.
It found that the situation was worse for girls, with only 15 per cent getting the required amount of exercise globally, compared to 22 per cent of boys.
The report’s authors suggested that the prevalence of smart phones and other electronic devises could be leading young people to move around less.
They also said that poor infrastructure and insecurity might be making it difficult for young people to go outdoors.
In some countries, the gap in levels between boys and girls appeared to be linked to cultural pressure on girls to stay home, as well as concerns over safety.