How to increase preschooler's physical activity

Relationships between the home environment and physical activity and dietary patterns of preschool children was reported in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Journal last month.

They found that 3 factors influenced the amount of children's physical activity at home. 1. parental physical activity, 2. size of backyard, and 3. amount of outdoor play equipment.

Preschoolers in Family Care Homes Need More Physical Activity
In a related study according to research released Friday at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), privately owned and operated family child care homes, as the second largest child care provider, may need to assess the opportunities and programs for preschoolers to be active based on these results.

When the children were not napping, most of their activities were sedentary. On average, 264 of their 330 daily minutes (excluding nap time) were inactive. Light physical activity was achieved just a portion of their day, at around 36.5 minutes, with moderate activities at only about 14 minutes. Vigorous and moderate-to-vigorous activities combined were just approximately 18 minutes.

As a result of the findings, author Stewart Trost, Ph.D. stated, "Getting programs in place to help private care providers and building awareness about boosting these kids' activity is important, and can be an early intervention in getting them active for later stages in their growth and development."

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