School children in the country are lagging in health and fitness parameters with 40% of kids not having a healthy BMI and required endurance levels, says a countrywide study, warning that the current generation was heading towards an unhealthy future.
The study for the academic year 2013-14 covered 1,15,559 children in the age group of 7 to 17 years in 287 schools across 85 cities from 23 states.
In a comparative study between boys and girls, it found that 65% of girls have healthy Body Mass Indexscores compared to 59% of boys.
However, girls score lower than boys in other fitness parameters (anaerobic capacity, flexibility, upper body strength and abdominal strength) indicating that they are still short on overall fitness, the study released here said.
Children in all five regions of the country were deemed more or less equally unfit with unhealthy BMI scores of 37% (Central), 54% (East), 37% (North), 38% (South) and 36% (West), said the study by EduSports, physical education and school sports enterprise.
Non-metros score higher than metros in terms of BMI levels and fitness parameters, it said.
Children in non-metros demonstrated better flexibility (75% in non-metros and 70% in metros), had good upper body strength (64% in non-metros and 61% in metros) and a marginal overall BMI score (61% in non-metros and 60% metros).
"The lack of health and fitness among such a large number of children yet again proves that physical activity/sports in schools should be viewed as an important part of the curriculum for the overall development of a child," Saumil Majmudar, CEO and Co-founder of EduSports,said.