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Study Suggests Preschoolers Need More Exercise

Study Suggests Preschoolers Need More Exercise

A new study from Seattle researchers suggests that preschoolers are getting significantly less than the amount of recommended daily exercise for their age group, indicating a potential factor behind the growing childhood obesity problem in America.

"Seattle researchers found that preschoolers only get about 48 minutes of exercise a day, although some studies suggest they should get at least two hours," according to USA Today.

Experts believe part of the reason behind the lack of activity could be because of the push to capitalize on early learning and build academic skills in preschool learning, thus cutting into physical activities.

"In the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers went into 10 preschools in the Seattle area and tracked kids' activities across the day for a total of 50 days. Nearly 100 children also wore devices to follow their activity levels," the article said.

According to the article, preschoolers were only provided opportunity for physical activity 12% of the day versus 29% napping. All in all, the study indicated the preschoolers only spent less than a half hour outside throughout the day.

Debbie Chang, vice president of Delaware-based Nemours Children's Health System, provided USA Today with several ideas on how educators of young learners can get their students moving.

"Even reading a book like The Wheels on the Bus, can provide a chance for kids to get up and act out the rolling of the wheels and swishing of the wiper blades, rather than sitting quietly and listening, she said," according to the article.

Chang also discussed her experience with a preschool that did not have an outside space for recess activities, but "received permission to use the parking lot of a neighboring business so kids could play for an hour in the mornings."

Following that change, she said, the benefits of the children getting time to play outside was immediately noticeable. Their behavior improved and they slept better at naptime, she said.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/19/2015

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