Young kids achieve 90pc of recommended daily physical activity in 11.3 hours

Washington, Jan. 13 : A new study has revealed that preschool-aged children achieve 90 percent of their recommended daily physical activity across their waking hours, typically within a period of 11.3 hours.

Children in the study, ages 3-5, achieved this activity through relatively short bursts of energy expenditure as opposed to the longer and more routine periods of exercise typically exhibited by adults.

Senior author Shari Barkin, M.D., director of the Division of General Pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt and William K. Warren Foundation Professor of Medicine, notes that several public health organizations offer general guidelines on how much moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) a preschooler needs, but there is very little data on how and if this activity is actually attained.

The study's purpose was to characterize the different types of MVPA that preschoolers engage in as well as to develop reliable methods of capturing the amount of daily activity that preschoolers attain.

To measure physical activity, the preschool-aged child participants wore an accelerometer to measure objective muscle movement for seven continuous days, 24 hours per day.

The investigators found that four common patterns of MVPA emerged for the preschoolers, most lasting less than 5 minutes per burst of activity.

The study also showed that girls and boys achieved the same amount of physical activity during the day, but that the type of MVPA differed. Girls spent more time in very short bursts of MVPA lasting less than a minute, while boys spend more time in sustained bursts of MVPA lasting between 7-9 minutes.

The study was published in journal Obesity.

--ANI (Posted on 13-01-2014)

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