Section 6: Physical Activity
BackgroundRegular physical activity can increase life expectancy11. Physical activity can also enhance mental health and self-esteem, of particular benefit to adolescents12. As with nutrition, development of good exercise habits in childhood and adolescence which are maintained into adulthood can prevent or delay many chronic diseases.
Over 80% of middle school boys and girls report that they have exercised or played sports 3 of the past 7 days. Both boys and girls report similar exercise frequencies, although boys are slightly more likely than girls to play on a sports team.