June 21, 2012

Early Predictors Of Sedentary Behavior In Children Identified

Kids are more active if their TV time is restricted or they are involved in school sports clubs, among other associations, according to a study published June 20 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The authors, led by Mark Pearce of Newcastle University, reveal that children are not spending enough time being active and that girls are already becoming more sedentary than boys by the age of eight.

Using information from the Gateshead Millennium Study, which collected data from over 1,000 infants born between 1999-2000 and monitored them throughout their childhood the researchers showed a number of associations between physical activity, sedentary behavior, and body mass index in children. They found that the overall physical activity levels were low, with most children spending much less than the recommended hour per day doing moderate to vigorous physical activity, and that children of older fathers spent higher percentages of time in sedentary behavior.

Pearce explains, "Given the importance of physical activity to maintain good health, we know we need to get our kids moving more. What we hadn't known until now is how young we need to be catching them, or the reasons that lay behind their lack of activity."


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