Tag Archives: Physical activity

Childhood Decline in Physical Activity

Previously we have seen evidence from a cohort of children and adolescents in Norfolk that the decline in physical activity among modern young people takes place after childhood and during adolescence.[1] However in the majority of studies, including that which we looked at, the estimates of activity are largely based on reports. Now comes a new paper from Farooq and colleagues using objective measurements based on an accelerometer.[2] This new study shows that the previous conclusion was probably wrong. The study shows that there is a decline in moderate to vigorous physical activity throughout childhood and adolescence. A further interesting finding is that this study, based on objective measurements of activity, did not replicate the prevailing view that energy expenditure declines more rapidly in girls than in boys. This paper has considerable implications for policy. I would like to thank Professor Jeremy Dale for bringing this important paper to my attention.

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Corder K, van Sluijs EMF, Ekelund U, Jones AP, Griffin SJ. Change in children’s physical activity over 12 months; longitudinal results from the SPEEDY study. Pediatrics. 2010; 126(4): e926-35.
  2. Farooq MA, Parkinson KN, Adamson AJ, et al. Timing of the decline in physical activity in childhood and adolescence: Gateshead Millennium Cohort Study. Br J Sports Med. 2017.

RCT Does Not Confirm That Moderate Intensity Physical Activity is More Effective than Health Education in Reducing Cognitive Decline in Elderly People – Pity

The attractive theory that exercise, perhaps by inducing body-wide intra-cellular autophagy, promotes the health of all tissues – including the brain – does not gain support from this RCT (total n=1,635).[1] There was almost no difference at all in cognitive decline or incidence in dementia in this 24 month study. Maybe the exercise intensity was insufficient to yield a measurable improvement, in which case the CLAHRC WM Director’s regular Spinning classes may produce some benefit after all. But he is starting to doubt it.

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Sink KM, Espeland MA, Castro CM, et al. Effect of a 24-Month Physical Activity Intervention vs Health Education on Cognitive Outcomes in Sedentary Older Adults: The LIFE Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2015;314(8):781-90.