Keep Your Preschoolers Moving

Alan Gottlieb, Compositive Staff

Developing good physical activity habits needs to begin at a young age, and last through a lifetime.

One of the domains integral to a Whole Education is health and well-being. Developing good physical activity habits needs to begin at a young age, and laugh through a lifetime.

The study out of Australia described in this article demonstrates that preschoolers in that country aren’t moving as much as they need to be. There’s little doubt that a similar study in the U.S. would find equivalently low if not lower levels of physical activities among young children.

Though it is only hinted at in the article, using electronic screens — be they phones, tablets, or computers — as babysitters is likely one cause of children developing sedentary habits.

There any number of ways to get you young children moving. Something as simple as a walk down the block or a trip to the playground will do nicely. So will a game of tag or hide-and-seek.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the Australian study:

The study of 1,600 Perth preschoolers aged two to five years found two-thirds were not getting the recommended three hours of daily physical activity needed for their growth and development.

The study, led by the University of Western Australia, tracked the physical activity of 1,600 children from more than 100 Perth early childhood education and care services over the past two years.

The researchers attached activity monitoring belts to the children and tracked their activity throughout the day over the course of a week.

On average the majority of participants were doing 160 minutes of physical activity per day.

The Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years, released by the department of health last year, recommends 180 minutes of physical activity per day.

“180 minutes is just where we want to start, more is better, kids do better when they have more, and it’s got to be fun and it’s got to be play based,” said Professor Hayley Christian.

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