Only 5% of US teens get enough sleep, exercise, and time away from screens

Mail Online | 2/4/2019 | Mary Kekatos Health Reporter For
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Only five percent of US teens are meeting the national recommendations for sleep, exercise, and screen time, a new study finds.

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston said older teenagers and those who were black and Hispanic were less likely to meet the targets.

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And teenage boys are more than two times as likely to get enough rest, fitness and time off screens compared to teen girls.

'That’s a pretty dire statistic that they're not meeting all these recommendations simultaneously,' first author Dr Gregory Knell, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, told

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'It could have a significant effect on their physical health, emotional well-being and performance in school.'

For the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, the team looked at 60,000 American high school students between 2011 and 2017 from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey.

Survey - Centers - Disease - Control - Prevention

The survey is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments, and looks at six categories of health-related behaviors that lead to death and disability in adolescents and young adults.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends children between ages 14 and 18 get eight to 10 hours of sleep every night.

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Meanwhile, the US Department of Health and Human Services suggests at least one hour of moderate or vigorous exercise every day and less than two hours of screen time per day.

However, the researchers found that just one in 20 teens were meeting the national recommendations.

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'We pretty know how those behaviors are important individually, but evidence suggests the combination of all three are even more important for health,' said Dr Knell.

'I think we all anticipated this prevalence statistic would be low, but not five percent.'

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