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Katarzyna Rogalska DSM I

High School Students Engaged in Physical Activity by Sex: 2009 table analysis

The aim of the following section is to present and analyse a table showing the results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey carried out in 2009 among students in grades 9 to 12, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2010. The survey was mainly designed to determine the percentage of children who exercise regularly and attend physical education classes, in terms of their gender and age. The table was divided into three sub-tables, each of them focused on a different aspect of physical activity. The first sub-table focused on the percentage of the children who participated in at least 60 minutes of physical activities on at least 5 out of 7 days preceding the survey, then of the children who participated in the same kind of activities on all 7 days before the survey, and finally, of the who did not participate in these activities at all. It is implied that the only physical activities that were taken under consideration were those which effected in heart rate increase and caused the participants to breathe hard at least some of the time. The second section is focused on the percentage of the children who attended physical education classes daily (that is, on all 5 days of a regular school week), and those who attended on 4 or less days a week. Finally, the third sub-table gathers the percentage of the children who actively played on one or more sports teams run by either school, or community group in the last 12 months preceding the survey. Then of the children who used computers 3 or more hours a day for any purpose other than school work; and finally, of the children who watched television for 3 or more hours a day on an average school day. The results show that of all surveyed students, 37% participated in at least 60 minutes long

activities on at least 5 of 7 days preceding the survey (45.6% and 27.7% of the boys and the girls respectively), only 18.4% participated on all 7 days (24.8% and 11.4% respectively), whereas 23.1% did not exercise at all (17.0% and 29.9% respectively). Generally the boys appear as more active, although their activity showed a downward tendency, going from 47.5 to 40.4% in the first group, from 28.0 to 21.9% in the second, and from 17.4 to 18.5% in the group of inactive boys (in grades 9 and 12 respectively). The girls were less active, and showed the same tendency: from 30.8 to 22.4% in the first group, from 13.6 to 8.6% in the second, and from 26.9 to 33.0% in the group of inactive girls (in grades 9 and 12 respectively). Of all the surveyed children, 56.4% attended PE classes on at least one school day (57.7% of the boys, 55.0% of the girls), 33.3% attended PE classes on all 5 school days (34.6% of the boys, 31.9% of the girls). Again, the activity rate dropped for both boys and girls, going from 70.7 to 46.9% for boys and from 74.3 to 40.7% for girls in the first group, and from 45.5 to 25.5% for boys and from 48.2 to 19.9% for girls in the second group. 58% of surveyed students actively played on at least one sports team (63.8 of the boys, 52.3% of the girls). The numbers again drop as long as the age is concerned, decreasing from 65.9 to 57.9% for boys and from 56.6 to 44.1% for girls. At the same time, the last two sections show the students' moderate loss of interest in both using computers (24.9%) and watching television (32.8%). In grade 9, 32.2 % of the boys and 24.6% of the girls used computers for at least 3 hours a day, whereas in grade 12 the numbers dropped to 24.4 and 17.7% respectively. As for television, 36.3% of the boys and 33.9% of the girls in grade 9 admitted watching it for at least 3 hours a day, whereas in grade 12, it was 28.4% for the boys and 31.0% for the girls.