A study by The Journal of Pediatrics confirms that time spent outdoors after school was positively associated with moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Children are recommended to participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Most kids get most of their MVPA during school hours so getting your children to spend more time outdoors after school will help them reach their minimums for sure.
Results of the Research
In the research 306 children 9-17 years old were enrolled in the Healthy Hearts Prospective Cohort Study of Physical Activity and Cardiometabolic Health. Participants wore an accelerometer and completed an online survey that included a self-report of time spent outdoors after school, including organized activities and free play. Kids who didn’t spend time outdoors after school (17%) achieved 21 fewer minutes of MVPA daily and had an additional 70 minutes per day of sedentary behavior. Basically showing that kids who spent most of their time outdoors after school were three times more likely to meet guidelines for daily physical activity and had significantly higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels than their peers who did not spend time outdoors. This holds true for winter months also.
Advice To Parents
The study did find that 34% of youth did achieve their minimum of a recommended 60 minutes of MVPA each day. That’s just a minimum! We suggest parents consider structuring a time for kids to play outdoors every day possible in an effort to boost physical activity levels, enhance fitness, and fight childhood obesity.
Contact Us (859-525-8181) if you have any questions about your child’s physical activity
About Pediatrics of Florence
We believe that children are more than just “little adults.” They have unique personalities, challenges, and life circumstances and we have made every effort to make our offices and care as “kid friendly” as possible. We have an aquatic theme in the waiting rooms (separated for sick and well children) as well as themed examination rooms. All of our physicians are Board Certified Pediatricians and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and our nurse practitioners are all licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and are available to see both well and sick children.
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