Speed Reads

The kids are not alright

In its first global study, WHO finds 4 in 5 kids aren't getting enough exercise

About 80 percent of adolescents around the globe are getting less than the recommended 60 minutes of exercise, according to the World Health Organization's first-ever global study of physical activity among kids ages 11 to 17.

The study found that girls were less active than boys worldwide, with the biggest gender gaps in the United States and Ireland. It also mentioned that many sports in the United States seem designed to attract boys more than girls. In a press release on Friday, author Dr. Regina Guthold of WHO, pushed for "urgent policy action" to particularly "promote and retain girls' participation in physical activity."

Leisure activities today tend to be "more sedentary and screen-based rather than being outdoor exercise, sport or play," Dr. Juana Willumsen, a WHO expert on physical activity, told CNBC.

But the WHO's study asserts that there is no compromise when it comes to health. "Four in every five adolescents do not experience the enjoyment and social, physical, and mental health benefits of regular physical activity," Fiona Bull, co-author of the study told Reuters, and urged policymakers worldwide to "act now for the health of this and future young generations."