Recently, there has been extensive discussion about the sedentary behaviour habits of the adults and adolescents, however, the current study findings highlighted a lack of moderate to vigorous physical activity in young preschool children. Therefore, the following suggestions can be offered for increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary time among preschool children:
>> Throughout the year preschool children should be given possibility to play outdoors, and also encouraged to engage high amount of time in moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity activities, and minimize the time spent in sitting or engagement in sedentary activities.
>> Early educators and parents should create environments that encourage children to be active physically, and family and childcare settings should have basic equipment (such as balls, sticks and fixed playground equipment for climbing) for children’s self-motivated activities.
>> Positive prompting and encouragement by early educators and parents are needed to promote and further support physical activity engagement, and to achieve the daily recommendations of physical activity in young children.
In summary, it remains important to continue to evaluate both how much, and the type of activity in which children should engage to achieve a sufficient level of physical activity to support the attainment of genuine health benefits. Most importantly, all those involved in the domain of children’s well being need to maintain the current societal focus on how best to support children to be “always on the move”?
Physical activity is the right of every child!
The text is based on PhD Anne Soini´s doctoral dissertation: "Always on the move? Measured physical activity of 3-year-old preschool children". Studies in sport, physical education and health 216. Permanent link to the item: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-6029-2
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