GSB 7.1 Standardlösung

Physical Inactivity

Physical activity includes any physical movement produced by the skeletal muscles that leads to an increase in energy expenditure above the basal metabolic rate (Caspersen et al., 1985). During childhood and adolescence, regular physical activity is important for physical health (Janssen and Leblanc, 2021). For example, physically inactive children and adolescents have a less favourable cardiovascular risk profile compared to physically active ones (Hallal et al., 2006). In addition, longitudinal studies show that an inactive lifestyle acquired in childhood and adolescence often continues into adulthood, increasing the risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes (Telema, 2009). The World Health Organization (WHO) therefore recommends that 3 to 17-year-old girls and boys undertake an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate to very strenuous physical activity per day (Bull et al. 2020). The WHO has thus updated its recommendation, valid since 2010, according to which children and adolescents should still engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to very strenuous physical activity per day (WHO, 2010). The indicator physical inactivity is based on the WHO’s 2010 minimum recommendation and describes the proportion of 3 to 17-year-old girls and boys who are not physically active for at least 60 minutes per day in a moderate to very strenuous way.

Key messages

  • Almost three quarters of children and adolescents are physically inactive.
  • Girls are more likely to be physically inactive than boys, and the prevalence of physical inactivity increases with age.
  • There are no differences between children and adolescents in terms of physical inactivity by education group.

Javascript is needed for the visualitsation of indicators. Please activate Javascript in your browser.

trend

Indikatoren_ScreenreaderHinweis_Datentabelle

cross-section

By state

Indikatoren_ScreenreaderHinweis_Datentabelle

  • By gender

    Indikatoren_ScreenreaderHinweis_Datentabelle

  • By age

    Indikatoren_ScreenreaderHinweis_Datentabelle

  • By education group

    Indikatoren_ScreenreaderHinweis_Datentabelle

Results

In 2015, the prevalence of physical inactivity among children and adolescents was 74.0% (girls: 77.6%; boys: 70.6%). The proportion of physically inactive children and adolescents increases with age, from 54.2% among 3- to 6-year-olds to 88.2% among 14- to 17-year-olds. There are also differences in physical inactivity by region of residence: children and adolescents in the centre-west are more likely to be physically inactive than their peers in the north-east (75.3% and 70.0%, respectively). There are no differences in physical inactivity between different education groups (lower: 71.9%, middle: 75.6%, upper: 73.0%). Compared to 2010, the proportion of physically inactive children and adolescents has stagnated at a high level of 72.5%.

Conclusion

Data from KiGGS Wave 2 demonstrate that almost three quarters of children and adolescents are physically inactive at a young age (Finger et al., 2018). No differences were identified between education groups. Analyses based on data from KiGGSWave 1 (2009-2011), however, suggest that children and adolescents from families in the high socio-economic status group are more often active in sports and members of sports clubs than children and adolescents in the low socio-economic status group (Manz et al., 2014). An important goal, therefore, should be to further expand measures that promote physical activity in childhood and adolescence, as envisaged in the National Recommendations for Physical Activity and for Physical Activity Promotion (Rütten and Pfeifer, 2016).

Show more information on methodology and data sources

Definition

The indicator physical inactivity is defined as the proportion of children and adolescents who do not achieve the World Health Organization’s WHO) recommendation of at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

Operationalisation

The variable is based on self-reported data (from 11 to 17-year-olds) or their parents/guardians (for 3 to 10-year-olds) on physical activity in leisure time.

  • “How many days in a normal week are you/is your child physically active for at least 60 minutes a day?”

    • Numbers provided range from 0 to 7 days

Reference population

Children and adolescents with permanent residence in Germany, aged 3-17 years.

Data Source

Nationwide RKI interview and examination survey from 2014-2017 (KiGGS Wave 2) based on a registry office sample. Data was collected using self-completed questionnaires (survey of parents, and children and adolescents aged 11 or above), a medical interview (parental survey) and an examination. Nationwide RKI telephone survey 2009-2012 (KiGGS Wave 1) based on a registry office sample. Data was collected using a computer-assisted telephone interview (survey of parents and children and adolescents aged 11 or above).

Number of cases

  • KiGGS Wave 1 (cross-sectional survey): n = 12,368 (of which n = 4,455 0- to 6-year-olds invited for the first time, n = 7,913 7- to 17-year-olds who have already participated in the KiGGS baseline study)
  • KiGGS Wave 2 (cross-sectional survey): n = 15,023 (of which 3,567 underwent an examination)

Calculation

  • Description: For the indicator, the figures for total, girls and boys are provided and stratified by age group, residential area and parental education as far as the number of cases available for the figure is ≥5 and the statistical uncertainty in the estimate of the indicator is not considered too large (a coefficient variation ≤ 33.5%).
  • Stratification: The geographical classification of the residence of the participating person was carried out by region (north-east, north-west, middle-east, middle-west and south). Educational status of the parents was determined using the CASMIN index, which takes information on both school and vocational training into account and allows a categorisation into a low, medium and high education group.
  • Weighting: In order to correct for deviations from the underlying reference population due to different participation rates or sampling probabilities, weighting factors were used when calculating the indicator. These adjust the surveys to the population structure of the reference population with regard to sex, age, federal state, German citizenship (yes/no) and parental education as at 31 December 2015.

Data quality

The RKI surveys for children and adolescents provide representative results for the 0 to 17-year-old resident population in Germany. Various measures (including oversampling of children and adolescents without German citizenship), enabled migrants to be included in the KiGGS sample approximately in line with their proportion of the population. Nevertheless, further efforts are necessary in the future, especially for children and adolescents with little knowledge of German.

Use of cookies

Cookies help us to provide our services. By using our website you agree that we can use cookies. Read more about our Privacy Policy and visit the following link: Privacy Policy

OK