A report released by World Health Organization researchers Thursday said majority of teenagers do not participate in enough physical exercise, putting their current and future health at risk.
According to the report, 81% of children aged 11 to 17 worldwide did not meet the recommendations of at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise.
The research was done on 1.6 million children across 146 countries.
The report on global trends for adolescent physical activity was one of its kind and was conducted between 2001 and 2015.
The study was published in The Lancet medical journal Thursday.
Physical activity is associated with improved heart and respiratory functioning, mental health, and cognitive ability, all of which have implications for student learning.
The research found that girls were less active than boys in all 146 countries studied apart from four.
85% of girls worldwide are not physically active enough compared to 78% of boys.
The United States ranks among the countries with a big gap between girls and boys. More than 80% of girls are less active in physical activity compared to 64% of boys in the country.
The US has also experienced a big decrease in the percentage of boys being sufficiently physically active between 2001 and 2016. The decline stands at 64% from 71%.
The authors of the research called on governments around the world to address factors that can perpetuate the differences between the boys and girls.