Inactivity Starts in Preschool
Reported February 10, 2009
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — A new study finds physical activity for preschoolers needs to be increased in order to promote healthy lifestyles.
A team of researchers at the University of South Carolina (USC), Michigan State University and East Carolina University examined the activity levels of 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds enrolled in two dozen community-based preschool programs.
They found the preschoolers to be inactive much of their day, categorizing 89 percent of physical activity as sedentary. The researchers also found teachers rarely encouraged the children to be physically active. They discovered when balls and other items were available, especially in open spaces, the children were more likely to be active.
The low levels of childrens activity and the lack of adult encouragement point to a need for teachers to organize, model and encourage physical activity, William H. Brown, USC professor and the studys lead author, was quoted as saying.
Brown also said, Physical activity needs to be increased in order to promote healthy lifestyles, particularly for preschoolers who are growing up in low-income families and who are at greater risk for poor health outcomes.
Source: Child Development, January/February 2009