Physical Inactivity Among High School Students: A Public Health Concern of the 21st Century




Deckard, Amber


0000-0003-3308-7272 (Deckard, Amber)

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Purpose: Physical activity among school aged children is a leading public health concern with physical, mental, social, and financial implications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 1 in 5 high school students meet the CDC's recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. The purpose of this report was two-fold to determine the prevalence of Texas high school students not meeting the CDC's physical activity recommendations and determine the relationship between the student's physical education class attendance. Methods: A web-based analysis was conducted utilizing the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). Responses from individuals in 9th through 12th grade were included. YRBSS Analysis tools were utilized for performing a cross-tabulation and determining statistical significance within the variables of sex, race/ethnicity, grade level, and sexual identity with a (p< 0.05) significance level. Results: The majority of high school students do not meet the recommended minutes of physical activity. Females are more likely than males to not meet guidelines, and Black students and Hispanic students are more likely than White students to not meet guidelines. The relationship between the two measures were statistically significant in which students who did not attend physical education class were not meeting the CDC's recommendations either. Conclusion: Health disparities among students who do not meet physical activity recommendations were identified and need to be addressed. Adopting policies and allocating resources for longer physical education classes, more recreational activities, as well as ensuring safe environments for recreation are recommended next steps.


Research Appreciation Day Award Winner - 2021 School of Public Health, 2021 School of Public Health & Public Health Student Government Association - 1st Place