CDC: High school students don’t exercise enough

High school students aren’t doing much running – and when they do run, there’s a good chance it’s to a vending machine.

Roughly one-third of high school students in the U.S. drink two or more sodas, sports drinks, or other sugary beverages per day, but only 15% get the one hour of daily aerobic exercise that health officials recommend, according to the results of a nationwide survey released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although 51% of students do engage in muscle-strengthening exercise (such as push-ups or weight lifting) at least three days a week, as guidelines recommend, the overall picture is less than ideal.

“Regular physical activity has so many benefits to kids,” says CDC researcher MinKyoung Song, Ph.D., who coauthored a report analyzing the survey results. “Not doing enough can lead to numerous problems later in life, like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.”