Exploring adolescent physical activity

Introduction.

The current recommended physical activity guidelines for younger people to maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve health is at least 60 minutes of moderate, to vigorous intensity activity per day. This should include aerobic activity, and muscle and bone strengthening activities. In order to gain additional health benefits and well-being Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes is required.

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(National Health Department 2012, World Health Organisation. 2011)According to the BHF (British Heart Foundation), only 32% of boys and 24% of girls are meeting the current physical activity recommendations in England. In Scotland, 75% of boys and 72% of girls are meeting the guidelines. In England, boys spend on average 427 minutes and girls spend 460 minutes being sedentary per day.In 2009, Ireland were reported the most regularly exercising country in the EU, whereas Bulgaria was REPORTED TO HAVE THE LOWEST INVOLVEMENT OF EXERCISE. THE UK WAS REPORTED 8TH MOST REGULARLY EXERCISING COUNTRY with a percentage of 14%. (British Heart Foundation 2012) According to CDC (centres for disease control and prevention) (2011) 13.

8% of high school youth’s did not participate in 60 minutes of physical activity within the week of the survey, in the United States. However 71. 3% of high school youth’s was physically active during the week of the survey.Although this does not mean they have met the current physical activity guidelines. (Division of Population Health/School Health 2011) Benefits of regular Physical Activity. By participating in regular activity it helps maintain and improve health. Regular activity increases cardio respiratory, decreases blood pressure, increases high density lipoprotein cholesterol, boosts immune system and maintains flexibility. These factors can benefit the adolescent by reducing risks of chronic diseases such as 1 0 Z0940927 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and lung cancer.

Importantly activity helps reduce stress levels which can lead to psychological problems. Exercising has been proven to build self-esteem, improve mood, reduce depression symptoms, and reduce anxiety. (Department of Health 2011, Bouchard 2007 and Adams 2010).

This is supported by the Department of Health (2011) stating that “evidence proves that physical activity reduces the risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.It also shows that exercising improves psychological well-being, self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality and reduces levels of anxiety and fatigue. ” The Department of Health (2011) state that “physical activity has an important role to play in promoting mental health and well-being by preventing mental health problems and improving the quality of life of those experiencing mental health problems and illnesses. ” Haskell et al. 2007, supports that frequent physical activity is an important behaviour for individual and population health.

The health-related components of physical fitness are cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, body composition, and flexibility. According to Bouchard et al. 2007, the risks of physical inactivity can cause health risks which are known as hypokinetic diseases. Being inactive can increase the risks of obesity in later life, it could increase the likely hood of atherosclerosis and hypertension, type 2 diabetes could occur, clinical diseases become more of a likelihood, some cancers such as breast cancer or colon, bone health will decrease and lead to osteoporosis, and types of psychological depression such as anxiety and depression.Warburton et al. (2006) essentially states that body composition can be improved through physical activity as it helps to control weight and fat levels. It also increases high density lipoproteins (HDLs) levels in the blood, as well as decreasing low density lipoproteins (LDLs). In addition, physical activity improves glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity, along with reducing blood pressure, improving autonomic tone and reduces systemic inflammation.

Moreover it decreases blood coagulation, improves coronary blood flow, increases cardiac function and improves endothelial function. Routine physical activity is linked with improving with improving psychological well-being by reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Furthermore it states and supports that psychological well-being is important for preventing diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, obesity, cancer and depression. 2 0 Z0940927 Future applied practice.In order to increase physical activity within the adolescent population, Hortz and Petosa (2006) suggests increasing activity levels during physical education classes, this is then supported by The Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH) and the Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) interventions.“Programs that promote physical activity during leisure time among high school students are needed. ” This is suggested by The Slice of Life intervention, Project Active Teens, The Stanford Adolescent Heart Health Program and The Cardiovascular Health in Children (Hortz and Petosa 2006). Highlighting the risks and effects of inactivity, educating the adolescence and promoting physical activity with the aim to establish a lifestyle of regular exercise, will increase the physical activity prevalence.

Prescribing more activity to the adolescence and indicating the correct requirements of exercise will ensure they have the opportunity to have a healthy lifestyle and hopefully create habits of exercising (Bouchard et al. 2007). Bouchard et al. also states that educating home, school, physician offices and community recreation centre environments should be focused on. Sallis (1998), States that “physical activity interventions should be conceptualised on a population basis, because intervening with individuals or small groups is unlikely to bring about population-wide change.”Additionally Craig et al. (1999) supports the above by stating that providing incentives will increase the prevalence rate of physically active adolescents, for example rewarding the active will motivate them to progress. Along with this, reducing costs of memberships, equipment and user fees would allow exercising to become more accessible and affordable.

It is furthermore mentioned that providing information about health benefits and how to be physically active, through the media, local services and schools would help the adolescents be more active.Equally important, the journal suggests providing various activities in leisure centres, physical education classes, activity programmes and places to be active would increase physical activity routine.Taking social support into consideration, increasing the availability of care at home, school and local playing areas is said to help increase the adolescent to be more active, along with family support and orientated programmes. In addition providing more of a physically active infrastructure could increase physical activity, ay, maintaining pathways and trails, facilities such as showers, lockers, bicycle racks and more frequent public transport to leisure centres.Finally it shows that promoting participation of exercise instead of winning will emphasize the adolescent, this is due to respect and fair play. Conclusion.

3 0 Z0940927 In summary physical activity provides overall well-being and health benefits for the adolescent population. It is important to emphasise and educate that physical activity reduces major health risks such as obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer which can all impact on premature death (Bouchard et al. 2007, British Heart Foundation 2012 and Morandi 2009).

Bouchard et al. states “physical activity is associated with health benefits”. Consideration of what types of encouragement children are likely to adhere to should be respected.

With today’s modern technology, it could be hard for adolescent’s to give up or cut down on video games. Bouchard et al. (2007) discusses that if a child does give up television, that there’s no guarantee that they will participate in more physical activity.There are variety and a wide range of ways to promote physical activity within the adolescent population. It would be wise to target the school and home environment therefore the adolescent population is concentrated on for the majority of their day. Improving environmental factors are likely to encourage physical activity, in particular, peer influences, school environments and family factors.

Parents can provide positive modelling of physical activity, be active with their child and provide support. Peer influences can increase activity because children tend to imitate each other.As a normative we tend to feel more comfortable trying new things in groups which is why we should cogitate that team sports have an advantage to increase participation. Children are passive agents meaning positive word of mouth could indeed increase the prevalence of physical activity. School environments are beneficial for increasing physical activity as physical education is compulsory during adolescence, this however needs to be taken to its full potential.

(Bouchard et al. 2007, Craig et al. 1999 and Hortz and Petosa 2006. ) 40