The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
January 14, 2009
A study in the January issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise finds that children’s activity levels begin to dip between ages 3 and 5, suggesting that early interventions are needed to effectively address the childhood obesity epidemic, Reuters reports. To determine patterns of physical activity during early childhood, a team of New Zealand researchers measured physical activity and inactivity among 244 children using monitors that recorded body movements.
The researchers recommend that physical activity be encouraged at a young age, both to establish healthy behaviors and to harness a child’s natural desire to be active. In addition, they recommend that parents engage in physical activity with their children and impose limits on television and screen time.