Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Couch Potato Preschoolers

Child Development reports on a study indicating that preschoolers spent most of their time performing sedentary activities (89%). They spent 8% of the day performing light physical activity and only 3% of the day doing moderately vigorous physical activity.

This is some scary information. If we are worried about obesity now, it may only get worse. In addition, I would think the number of children referred for occupational and physical therapy services will increase. If preschoolers are sitting all day long, children will not learn the necessary gross motor skills. Muscle strengthening throughout may also be affected resulting in "low tone" trunks and decreased fine motor skills. Raising couch potato preschoolers in not a good idea! As therapists in the preschools we need to educate teachers and staff on the importance of physical activity throughout the day.

Reference: AU: William H. Brown, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Kerry L. McIver, Marsha Dowda, Cheryl L. Addy, Russell R. Pate Social and Environmental Factors Associated With Preschoolers' Nonsedentary Physical Activity Child Development
80: 1 (45-58) 2009.

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