Health Enhancing Physical Activity for Young People: Statement of the United Kingdom Expert Consensus Conference

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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An expert consensus development process was initiated to make public health recommendations regarding young people (5–18 years) and physical activity. Eight commissioned review papers were discussed at a meeting of over 50 academics and experts from a range of disciplines from the UK and overseas. Participants agreed on a consensus statement that summarized the research evidence and made two core recommendations. First, to optimize current and future health, all young people should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for 1 hour per day. Young people who currently do little activity should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for at least half an hour per day. The subsidiary recommendation is that, at least twice a week, some of these activities should help to enhance and maintain muscular strength and flexibility and bone health. A second aspect of the consensus process, which was based on extensive consultation, outlined the practical ways in which key organizations can work together to implement these recommendations. The resultant consensus statement provides a strong basis for the planning of future policies and programs to enhance young people’s participation in health-enhancing physical activity

N. Cavill was formerly Programme Manager, Health Education Authority, London. He is an independent consultant and can be reached at 121 Penwith Road, London, SW18 4PY, UK. S. Biddle is with the Department of Sport and Exercise Psychology at Loughbrough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. J.F. Sallis is with Department of Psychology at San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182.

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