fbpx Skip to content


What Type of Exercise You Do as a Kid May Determine Your Weight as an Adult

| Earn 1 CEC - Take Quiz

According to new research, the kind of physical activity you do in childhood could predict whether you will be overweight as an adult.

Published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2018; 50 [4],
709–14), the study examined the relationship between adult weight gain and the following types of exercise in childhood: running, sports and/or fitness/dance.

Researchers logged waist circumference, height, weight and body composition data from 631 participants at ages 12, 16 and 24 and then compared the data against childhood activities of choice. So which forms of exercise were linked with lower weight in adulthood?

The researchers found an association between years spent running during adolescence and lower body weight, smaller waist circumference and lower body mass index at age 24. Sports participation also seemed to positively affect BMI, while fitness/dance did not produce any statistically significant results.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor, and IDEA's director of event programming.

Related Articles

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.


November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.