Significance of Kids’ Fitness

A physically active lifestyle starts declining as early as age 7.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Oct 15, 2019

Fitness pros may want to put more emphasis on kids’ fitness to ensure that more adults choose an active lifestyle and become fitness enthusiasts.

A research review of 574 studies of physical activity behavior patterns over a lifetime shows that, for many people, an inactive lifestyle begins as early as 7–10 years old. While most of the studies showed that inactive individuals tended to remain inactive, a few studies found subgroups of adults and older adults who increased their activity levels.

“Despite the common declining tendency of physical activity throughout the life course, being physically active in childhood and adolescence may be of high importance since it can postpone the time of becoming inactive later on,” said Irinja Lounassalo, lead study author and PhD student at the University of Jyv├ñskyl├ñ in Finland. “Since physical activity behavior stabilizes with age and inactivity is [a] more persistent behavior than activity, interventions should be targeted at children early in life before their habits become stable.” More research is needed to help us understand how groups of formerly inactive adults become active in later life.

Look for the study in BMC Public Health (2019; 19 [1]).


Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at

Leave a Comment

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.