Are German kids sporty?

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80 percent of young people do not exercise enough

Sporting activities are part of the everyday program for children and young people - actually. As researchers from the University of Bielefeld have now found out, only 20 percent of boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 15 years are sufficiently active. In a European comparison, Germany is one of the bottom places. Is that why German children are a lack of exercise?

One hour of exercise a day - even for those with a lack of sport Children and adolescents have a natural urge to move. Sitting hard at school for hours is hard for many. However, most German children do not seem to spend their free time on soccer fields, in fitness centers, in sports clubs or at ballet classes. According to the new study, more than 80 percent of children do not exercise enough. This affects especially children from the 11th to the 15th year of life, as the scientists were able to prove.

Only every fourth boy and every fifth girl does enough sport. The numbers decrease even further among the 15-year-olds: in this age group only 13.6 percent of boys and 8.6 percent of girls move to a reasonable extent. According to international recommendations, young people should exercise for one hour a day so that their pulse rate increases and they start to sweat. "Only a small proportion of German adolescents reach this threshold," Petra Kolip, a health scientist from Bielefeld, told the AFP news agency.

Girls do less exercise than boys The study shows clear differences between the sexes. While 20 of the boys in all age groups move enough, only 14 percent of the girls do. This makes Germany one of the bottom lights in a European comparison.

38 percent of boys aged 11 to 15 do at least four hours of sport a week. The girls in this age group are only 25 percent. Nevertheless, the movement behavior has improved in the past twelve years, the researchers said. However, differences between the sexes are still clear. That is why gender-specific physical activity promotion is necessary, which means "the different motives and preferences of girls and boys".

The study by the Bielefeld researchers is part of an extensive study by the World Health Organization (WHO), in which the health behavior of children from 40 different countries is analyzed.

Why do German children move too little? The social educator Gritli Bertram from Hanover sees one cause in the diaries, some of which are more than full for the youngest: “If we assume that young people are often not at home before 15 after school, then they still have to do their homework and maybe still have extra tuition, it is obvious why our children do not do enough sport. ”Even in primary school, it is not uncommon for children to have no time for appointments or the sports club during the week. “Children from better-off households in particular often have additional appointments such as singing and music lessons outside of school. In contrast, there is often no money left for the sports club for children from financially weaker families, ”explains Bertram. It is also the task of the schools and, not least, the Minister of Education to ensure that there is a suitable range of sports in the classroom. (sb)

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Image: Dieter Schütz /

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