Change Indicator

Children and teens not exercising regularly in United States

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Definition and Source



The share of children and teens age 6 to 17 who engaged in less than 5 days of vigorous physical activity in the past week.

The National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) interviews the parent or most knowledgeable adult to determine, "During the past week, on how many days did (child) exercise or participate in physical activity for at least 20 minutes that made him/her sweat and breathe hard?"

Data Source

Child Trends analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, National Survey of Children’s Health.
The state-level data used here come from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). The NSCH includes information on over 102,000 children under age 18, with roughly 2,000 children per state. Households were selected through a random-digit-dial sample, and one child was randomly selected in each household. Information on each child is based on responses of the parent or guardian in the household who was most knowledgeable about the sampled child’s health. Information was collected via a computer-assisted telephone interview. For more information on the NSCH, see

Data for the 2011-2012 NSCH were collected February 2011 through June 2012. Additionally, cell phones were contacted for the first time in 2011-2012, so trend comparisons should be made with caution.


Updated August 2013.
N.A. - Data not available.

Last Updated

August 2013