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Word Count: 931
Although awareness of the importance of physical fitness has increased in the United States the average level of an Americans fitness has decreased In short most everyday citizens are out of shape This is partially due to the more modern and easier lives that most Americans lead compared to Americans of earlier time periods If Americans wish to stay in good health then their daily regiments must be changed Among adolescents and teenagers the same numbers are noticeable Nearly fifty percent of American youth aged twelve through twenty-one are not vigorously active on a regular basis Only nineteen percent of all high school students are physically active for more than twenty minutes or more five days a week mainly in physical education class Physical Activity and Health Adolescents and Teenagers par 5-8 These numbers are a significant drop from previous studies of earlier decades When physical fitness reform was stressed in schools during the fifties the government administered several test to get an exact figure on American childrens level of fitness The United States office of Education discovered that in one year fifty-six of 108000 public schools had strengthened their physical education programs These modifications were noticed Between 1964 and 1965 11000 boys and girls who took the Youth Fitness test had higher mean scores in every event and at all ages than the results recorded from the previous decades tests Van Dalen 520-521 Although modern well-designed school-based interventions directed at increasing physical activity in physical education classes have been shown to be effective only twenty five percent of high school students enroll in physical education class daily In 1991 forty-one percent of all high school students enrolled in physical activity That means that in only ten years the daily level of physical activity amongst teens has been cut almost in half Physical Activity and Health Adolescents and Teens par 9-10 Not even the best school
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