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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 45: Exercise

Figure 45. Percentage of high school students who participated in vigorous physical activity, by sex: Various years, 1997 to 2003

Percentage of high school students who participated in vigorous physical activity, by sex: Various years, 1997 to 2003
NOTE: Vigorous physical activity is defined as activity that caused sweating and hard breathing for 20 minutes or more on 3 or more of the 7 days preceding the survey.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance-United States, 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2003.

Males were more likely than females to participate in vigorous physical activity and strengthening exercises over the years 1997 to 2003. In 2003, 70 percent of males reported participating in vigorous physical activity and 60 percent reported participating in strengthening exercises, compared to 55 percent and 43 percent of females, respectively. In 2003, there were no significant racial/ethnic differences detected among male participation rates for vigorous physical activity, strengthening exercises, or enrollment in physical education class, while there were some differences among the females. A higher percentage of White females than Black females reported participating in vigorous physical activity, 58 percent versus 45 percent. Also, a smaller percentage of Black females reported participating in strengthening exercises compared to White and Hispanic females, 31 percent versus 46 percent and 44 percent, respectively.


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