Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Adolescent Sensory and Motor Development
Before the adolescent growth spurt, the strength of boys and girls is about the same. But afterward, males most often have the advantage.
During these years of rapid physical growth, adolescents may be somewhat awkward or clumsy as they get used to longer limbs and bigger bodies. Their brains need time to adjust to the growing body.
Strength can be increased further in both boys and girls by participation in sports and exercise programs. A large and growing number of kids do not participate in the recommended amount of physical activity. Many children become less active as they enter middle and high school and as organized sport activities become more competitive.
Sometimes you'll need to urge your child to get off the couch and exercise. You can help motivate your child by your example—when you get regular exercise yourself. Also, talk with your child about the physical benefits of exercise, such as improving mood or energy level.
Although sports are a great way for children to be physically active while they learn valuable social skills, be aware that sports are not for everyone. Focus on things that your child enjoys doing, whether it's competitive or noncompetitive sports or personal fitness activities (such as jogging, yoga, or cycling). Some children may prefer individual sports (such as karate, gymnastics, and swimming) over group sports (such as soccer or baseball).
The growing bones of children can't handle as much stress as the mature bones of adults. Children who compete in sports may be more likely to get injured, such as smaller children who play football or children who diet to maintain their weight for gymnastics or wrestling.
Current as ofMarch 27, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineJohn Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Current as of:
March 27, 2018
Medical Review:Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.