Teenagers with decreased fitness levels are more likely to not work in the future compared to those with good cardiorespiratory fitness, latest research has indicated.

A new study from the University of Jyväskylä has highlighted the importance of keeping fit during adolescence as it can later affect your ability to work as an adult.

During the trial, the team of researchers examined the participant’s fitness levels when they were aged between 12 and 19.

Each participant then self-reported their working ability when they were aged between 37 and 44, and then again between 57 and 64.

The results show that the participants with low cardiorespiratory fitness during adolescence were less likely to be working in mid and later life due to health complications compared to those with increased fitness levels as a teenager.

A high BMI and low musculoskeletal fitness did not affect the participant’s work ability during adulthood, the study has reported.

Other research has recently discovered that adolescents with low fitness levels are more at risk of developing chronic disability in adulthood.

Doctoral researcher Perttu Laakso said: “The finding is worrying, even though work ability is a multifaceted concept with numerous factors affecting it.

“Given that the participants in the study were born in the 1960s and had a higher average youth cardiorespiratory level compared to today’s adolescents, the finding is even more worrisome. It can be assumed that the risk of decreased work ability is higher among today’s adolescents.”

Not being able to work, early retirement and sick leave can have a massive impact on the economy, according to the findings.

Experts are now campaigning for physical fitness assessments in childhood and adolescence so preventative strategies can be put in place for those with low cardiorespiratory fitness levels.

Read the study in the journal JAMA Network Open.

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