HealthDay News — Female adolescents and young adults are not meeting the recommended guidelines for physical activity, according to a study published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

Sarah Armstrong, M.D., from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues assessed current patterns of physical activity and duration among adolescents and young adults, as well as the direction and magnitude of associations between physical activity and income, race/ethnicity, and sex among participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007 through 2016).

The researchers found that across all demographic categories, females reported less physical activity than male.

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White adolescent males and black females aged 18 to 24 years were most likely and least likely, respectively, to report any physical activity. For those who were active, black males aged 18 to 24 years reported the longest duration of activity per day, while black females aged 25 to 29 years reported the shortest duration of activity. Younger age, white race, and higher income were associated with greater physical activity, in adjusted models.

“Female adolescents and young adults were not meeting the recommended guidelines for physical activity, and substantial disparities by race and income levels were noted,” the authors write. “These data highlight opportunities for targeted physical activity programming and policy efforts.”

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