Do the younger generations (Y and Z) have less developed muscles than previous ones?

In 2023, there are no fewer than four generations in the employment market. The two youngest ones are Generation Y – also known as the millennials, born between 1986 and 2000 – and Generation Z, born between 2001 and 2015. Studies have shown that these generations tend to take less exercise than the older ones. The automatic assumption is that the younger generations have less developed muscles than previous ones. But is that actually true?

There is no conclusive proof, but certain factors do influence the degree of muscle development in young people:

  • A different lifestyle with reduced physical activity due to many hours of screen time. This may lead to diminished physical fitness.
  • Eating more processed foods and sugar, and a lower intake of important nutrients such as protein. Protein is necessary for muscle growth. A lack of it can also lead to reduced muscle development.

However, certain studies conclude that muscle development in the younger generations is not significantly lower. Major variations between individuals, a person’s genetics and their level of physical activity ultimately play the most important role in muscle development.