Explained: Why There is a Growing Concern Over the Physical Fitness of Children

growing concern over chiildren's physical fitness

In a world dominated by gadgets and other technology devices, the growing concern over children’s physical fitness has become a subject of great concern.

There is no doubt that the significant decline in children’s activity levels is a result of their engagement in sedentary behaviors such as spending prolonged time in front of screens and other electronic devices.

Based on a recent study, less physically active children are at high risk for several negative health conditions in comparison to those who engage in physical fitness. Some of these include obesity, poor mental health, and type 2 diabetes among others.

Hence, this post aims to educate parents and guardians on how to increase physical fitness and reduce dormant behavior in children.

What Does It Mean To Be Physically Fit?

Understanding the root of the problem makes finding a solution easy.

Now, the challenge here is the lack of physical activity or fitness. This act goes beyond shedding weight or looking fit.

So, What is Physical fitness?

Physical Fitness is defined as the overall state of health and wellness which involves the ability to partake in sports and everyday activities.

This can be achieved by maintaining a proper diet, having sufficient rest, and engaging in physical exercise, in addition to a well-planned recovery program.

Encouraging the act of physical fitness right from a tender age is very essential. This helps in maintaining a healthy weight in children and also enhances the development of strong bones, and muscles, and improves mental health.

Following the survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was reported that only 21% of children and adolescents in the United States meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity. This invariably has resulted in a tremendous rise in childhood obesity rates over the last 40 years.

Source: kidswholearn.com

Factors Affecting Physical Fitness

Various factors contribute to the decline in physical activity among children and adolescents. As mentioned earlier, the primary cause is the high utilization of technology, including tablets, video games, and smartphones. All these have resulted in more sedentary behavior. Moreover, children and adolescents are spending too much time being idle with little or no time spent in physical activity.

Aside from this, the time spent on physical education programs in schools is short.  Several schools have scaled down on physical education classes as a result of limited budgets. Consequently leaving children with fewer opportunities to participate in physical activity while in school.

In addition, changes in the environmental structure have made it more challenging for children to be physically active. That is, the expansion of suburban and exurban development has given rise to many communities relying on automobiles. Hence, making it more challenging for young individuals to practice walking or cycling to their destinations.

Explained: Reasons for The Growing Concern Over Children’s Physical Fitness 

Children are indeed the future of tomorrow. And if they aren’t fit enough to live their full potential for the advancement of the world, there will be serious problems. 

This problem is experienced all over the world and the cause can be traced to the rapid increase in the use of technology, which takes up most of the time that should be committed to physical activity. This leads us to the question, 

Technology; a blessing or Curse?

Of course, the advent of technology has brought so much ease to the world. But if what was meant to bring comfort is now causing great concern out of improper utilization, then it calls for great concern.

Frantically speaking, the dormant lifestyle birthed as a result of the excessive usage of technology is the primary culprit here. So also are the unhealthy food choices among children.

The sedentary lifestyles are typically due to the customary use of technology. The unhealthy or poor food choices are a result of too much consumption of highly sugary, processed, and nutrient-deprived meals, which come at very cheap costs and are fast to consume. 

But the fact that something is easy doesn’t mean it’s beneficial. 

In essence, lack of physical activity has continuously caused significant health challenges among children including high rates of cardiovascular, obesity, and diabetes cases.

If changes aren’t made to improve this situation, future generations are even at more risk of bearing more diseases and physically unfit children.

How To Solve The Growing concern over children’s physical fitness 

The straightforward solution to this menace is adding a dose of physical activity to the daily life of children as well as fostering a healthy diet.

Being mindful of one’s exercise plan and dietary options will significantly reduce obesity and other related health conditions in children.

According to experts, integrating 60 minutes of physical activity a day for children and 30 minutes for adults can help ward off the sedentary lifestyle and obesity.

How Physical Activity And Healthy Dietary Choices Contribute To Physical Fitness?

As children keep developing, they must consume nourishing foods that support bone health and muscle flexibility.

Now let’s delve into how these two factors (regular exercise and healthy foods) can guarantee physical fitness:

1. Engaging children in physical activity of their choice can help build strength and endurance 

2. It helps improve mental and physical health in children and adults.

3. Reduces the risk of several health issues including obesity, heart risks, high BP, diabetes, and bone-related issues (e.g. osteoporosis).

4. It helps fight against depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health challenges, which eventually help in better thinking abilities.

5. Physical activity enhances social interactions in children by boosting their mood thus facilitating social lifestyles.

6.  Diseases prevention and also contributes to a healthy heart.

Role Of Schools And Parents in The Growing Concern Over Children’s Physical Fitness

School Physical Education Programs

Schools play a pivotal role in encouraging physical fitness among children. With the aid of physical education programs in schools, children can be educated with the knowledge and skills needed to uphold a healthy lifestyle. These programs are games, exercises, and sports.

Furthermore, physical education classes also educate children about the significance of routine exercises and healthy eating habits. With this, children can learn about the importance of physical activity and how it can help avert chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. 

To promote the effectiveness of physical education programs, schools must offer adequate resources and facilities. This includes recruiting professional teachers or coaches, providing suitable tools, and creating safe and encouraging environments for students to engage in physical activities.

Parental Influence

Parents also play a huge role in encouraging physical fitness in children. They can motivate their children to partake in exercises and make healthy dietary choices. Additionally, Parents can set a good example by staying active themselves and demonstrating healthy behaviors.

Another way parents can encourage physical activity is by supporting physical education programs in schools. This can be done through lobbying for more resources and facilities. Moreso, they can volunteer their time and knowledge to help coordinate sports events and other physical activities for students.

Ultimately, parents must be aware of the advantages that come with being physically fit and the risks of a sedentary lifestyle. As already emphasized above, they can work with schools and other community organizations to encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Through this, schools and parents can help ensure that children and adolescents cultivate healthy traits that will last a lifetime.

Potential Solutions to the Growing concern over children’s physical fitness 

1) Government Initiatives

A more promising solution to the growing concern over children’s physical fitness is through governmental action.

They can do this by investing in the construction of playgrounds, sports facilities, and other recreational structures in schools and public places. Also, the government can encourage schools to make physical education compulsory. And make sure that students get enough time for physical activities during school hours. 

Besides, governments can initiate policies that encourage healthy eating habits and shun the consumption of junk, processed food, and sugary drinks.

2) Community Programs

Another possible solution to this menace is through community programs. This can be an efficient way to promote physical fitness among children and adolescents. 

These programs may entail post-school sports clubs, summer camps, and other leisure pursuits. Moreso, local sports teams can help by presenting opportunities for children to engage in professional sports. Additionally, community organizations can work with schools to offer resources and aids for physical education programs.


To sum up, the growing concern over the physical fitness of children is a multidimensional problem that demands attention from parents, educators, and policymakers alike. 

Even though several factors contribute to this issue, such as dormant or sedentary behavior, unhealthy diet, and deprived access to physical programs. Yet, there are also a series of solutions that can be executed to address these problems.

These entail increased physical activity in schools and communities through initiatives such as supplementary sports programs, physical education classes, and community fitness events. Moreover, parents and guardians can encourage their children to be more active by reducing their screen time and promoting outdoor activities.

Another essential solution is to make better nutrition in schools and communities. This can be achieved by offering nourishing foods in school cafeterias and vending machines, as well as fostering healthy eating habits at home.

Ultimately, tackling the growing concern over the physical fitness of children and adolescents will need a joint effort from all concerned bodies. By working together to encourage physical activity and healthy dietary choices, together we can help make sure that our children and adolescents promote healthy and active lives.


  • cdc.gov
  • mdpi.com
  • fitness97.com
  • dswholearn.com
  • betterhealth.vic.gov.au

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