„Growing Up” and the Environment
Robert M. Malina 1, 2, 3  
,   Bertis B. Little 4, 5
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Department of Kinesiology and Health Education University of Texas at Austin
Department of Kinesiology Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas
Visiting Professor University School of Physical Education, Wrocław
Departments of Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering and Academic Affairs Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas
Senior Research Scientist Medical Service, Dallas Veterans’ Administration Medical Centerm Dallas, Texas
Robert M. Malina   

Robert M. Malina 10735 FM 2668 Bay City, TX 77414 USA
Med Srod. 2012;15(2)
Many factors in the natural, man-made and social environments can influence the physical growth and maturation and behavioral development of children and adolescents. Improved environmental conditions over the past century or so have contributed to positive secular changes in growth and maturation. More recently, however, technological advances have increased opportunities for sedentary behaviors and contributed to reductions in physical activity, both of which have potentially negative implications for the health of youth. Pollutants associa-ted with some industries also have implications for health. Children with elevated lead levels are at increased risk for impaired growth and maturation and for impairments in fine motor coordination. The impact of elevated lead on gross motor coordination in several tests of physical fitness is mediated through the influence of lead on growth in body size. Similarly, emissions from coal-fired power plants and other industries are associated with asthma, which has implications for the physical activity and fitness of youth.
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