Friday, November 4, 2011

Gender Differences in Sedentary Behavior

Interesting research in Pediatrics on the different sedentary behaviors of boys versus girls. Three hundred thirty one preschool children wore accelerometers over a period of 2 weeks. The results indicated the following:
  • girls were more sedentary than boys
  • for boys sedentary behavior was correlated with the amount of weekly tv/video games and physical activity equipment in the home
  • for girls body mass index and coordination was significantly correlated with sedentary behavior
None of these results are surprising but they do validate that children need to be physically active from a young age or bad habits will start very early. In addition, if girls in particular have deficits in coordination skills this needs to be addressed at this early age to prevent a lifetime of sedentary behavior. Simple tips can be offered to parents to increase physical activity time such as decrease tv/video game time, increase physically active play time, eat healthy and practice coordination skills such as throwing, catching, skipping and any other ball skills.

Reference: Wonwoo Byun, Marsha Dowda,and Russell R. Pate Correlates of Objectively Measured Sedentary Behavior in US Preschool Children Pediatrics 2011; 128:5 937-945; published ahead of print October 17, 2011, doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0748

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