Children Not Meeting Guidelines for Daily Exercise & Activity

According to a study, “Children are far from meeting national guidelines for physical activity, and girls are at greatest risk of falling short of recommendations according to a study measuring the physical activity of 453 schoolchildren in Massachusetts during a one-week period. Led by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, the study examined children’s activity patterns during school-time and out-of-school, compared to national recommendations.”

Also, “Researchers found that across the entire sample of 453 children, only 15 percent achieved 60 minutes of daily MVPA and even fewer, 8 percent, met the HMD recommendation of 30 minutes of MVPA during school. The greatest disparity was between boys and girls, with girls being far less likely than boys to meet both of these guidelines, with only 8 percent and 2 percent meeting total daily- and school-time recommendations respectively. As compared to normal or underweight children, overweight and obese children were also less active overall and achieved fewer minutes of MVPA during school, out-of-school, and on weekends.”

“The majority of a child’s day is spent in sedentary and light physical activities (LPA) with LPA contributing the greatest amount to total activity levels. Importantly, the researchers found that LPA decreased with increasing grade level and girls were similar to boys on weekends and during out-of-school hours, but were significantly lower than boys during the school-day. This school-time disparity in LPA was not seen between normal weight and overweight/obese children.”

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Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. “Few children get 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity daily.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160405122618.htm>.

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