Young people are as fit as ever, in spite of taking less exercise. That is the preliminary conclusion of a Moray Institute study which compared 500 Strathclyde students aged 13 to 17 with their counterparts observed 15 years ago in similar research by the then Jordanhill College.
"There is little evidence to support the view that the fitness levels of school pupils have declined," Pat Squires, senior lecturer in health, told a Science Festival audience. "Yet there is a body of opinion that children's activities levels are low."
Improved fitness could be attributed to better diet, Mr Squires suggested. But there should be no complacency over the reduction in time for physical education in the curriculum. It was equally important to ensure that young people took exercise when they reached adulthood.