Children are becoming weaker, less muscular and unable to do physical tasks that previous generations found simple, a new research has revealed.
As a generation dedicated to online pursuits grows up, 10-year-olds can do fewer sit-ups and are less able to hang from wall bars in a gym. Arm strength has declined in that age group, as has their ability to grip an object firmly.
The study led by Dr Gavin Sandercock, a children`s fitness expert at Essex University, studied how strong a group of 315 Essex 10-year-olds in 2008 were compared with 309 children the same age in 1998, reports the Guardian.
It found the number of sit-ups 10-year-olds can do declined by 27.1 per cent, arm strength fell by 26 per cent, grip strength by 7 per cent.
While one in 20 children could not hold their own weight while hanging from the wall bars in 1998, a decade later, one in 10 could not manage it.
`This is probably due to changes in activity patterns among English 10-year-olds, such as taking part in fewer activities like rope-climbing in PE and tree-climbing for fun,` Sandercock said. `Typically, these activities boosted children`s strength, making them able to lift and hold their own bodyweight.`
The fact that 10 percent could not do the wall bars test and another 10% refused to try was `really shocking`, he added. `That probably shows that climbing and holding their own weight was something they hadn`t done before.`
The findings have been published in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica.