How to make kids more active

Updated: Jun 21, 2012, 19:19 PM IST

Washington: Children are more active if their TV time is restricted or they are involved in school sports clubs, among other associations, according to a study.

Researchers led by Mark Pearce of Newcastle University said 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.

“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,” Pearce explained.

The study was recently published in the open access journal PLoS ONE.