Friday, February 20, 2009

Preschoolers Mostly Inactive at Play


A study released in the January/February Issue of Child Development found that preschoolers were mostly inactive at play. The study conducted by researchers from the University of South Carolina looked at 30 minutes of indoor and outdoor play viewing approximately 300,000 episodes. Overall the researchers determined that during the course of a typical day, 89 percent of children's activities were sedentary, 8 percent were lightly active and 3 percent were moderately-to-vigorously active.

They also determined that 94 percent of indoor activities were sedentary while 54 percent of outdoor activities fall into the sedentary category.

They also found that children were more likely to be active when they were outside and balls or other play objects were available. As a result, the researchers recommended that future interventions designed to improve physical activity levels among preschool children focus on increasing the availability of outdoor materials and ensuring sufficient open space for recreation. The researchers also recommend that teachers organize, model and encourage physical activity among students.