Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Children need 60 minutes of daily physical activity, expert panel says

13.06.2005


School-age children should participate in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily, according to an expert panel.



"The take-home message for parents is that it is very important to ensure that their children spend at least an hour a day in some form of appropriate physical activity," says Dr. William B. Strong, a pediatric cardiologist and retired professor at the Medical College of Georgia who co-chaired the panel.

"The important thing is we have to get American children and adolescents active," says co-chair Dr. Robert M. Malina, research professor and an expert in growth and development at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. "The evidence is very clear that physical activity has decreased dramatically in the last 10 to 20 years," Dr. Malina says as the technology revolution of the 1980s produced more sedentary options for children while their caloric intake has essentially remained the same.


"Our children are just not burning up those calories today," Dr. Malina says of the obesity epidemic in children. "All of us need to help children increase the amount of time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity. This means that parents, coaches, teachers and others who influence youngsters need to become active role models and get children involved with regular participation in physical activity."

"Increasing the level of habitual moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity in youth is a health promotion and a disease prevention strategy," the panelists conclude. Restoration of physical education and other school- and community-based programs could contribute mightily to that strategy, they say. Recommendations of the 13-member panel are published in the June issue of The Journal of Pediatrics. Panelists were convened by the Constella Group, Inc., a professional health services company headquartered in Durham, N.C., contracted by the Divisions of Nutrition and Physical Activity and Adolescent and School Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We were asked to review the literature and find evidence of the impact of physical activity on the health and well-being of children and to make recommendations based on the evidence, not just on what we all believe to be beneficial," says Dr. Strong, Charbonnier Professor Emeritus at MCG and founding director of MCG’s Georgia Prevention Institute, where researchers are exploring issues such as the impact of activity on children’s weight and cardiovascular health.

The hope is that the evidence-based recommendations will be taken to heart by children, parents and schools as well as an elite list of organizations that impact children’s health, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Representatives of those groups attended the January 2004 meeting of the expert panel.

Panelists reviewed more than 850 articles and 1,200 abstracts looking at the impact of physical activity on a wide range of health factors from body fat to lipid levels to how children perceive themselves. Most of the studies in the literature had children performing 30 to 45 minutes of continuous moderate to vigorous physical activity three to five days per week. To achieve similar or greater benefits in the context of typically intermittent, ordinary daily activities would require a cumulative time of an hour or more, the experts write.

Jumping rope, soccer, basketball, and brisk walking are all examples of moderate to vigorous physical activity, Dr. Strong says, noting that sedentary children need to increase activity gradually. "Youngsters tend to get bored easily so they have to have variety," says Dr. Malina, who has doctoral degrees in both physical education and anthropology. "In addition, youngsters like physical activities that are challenging."

Experts say much of the needed activity can be achieved at school with appropriate physical education, recess, intramural sports and before- and after-school programs. "In this regard, CDC recommends daily quality physical education from kindergarten through grade 12," the panelists write. "Both physical education and recess afford opportunities to achieve the daily physical activity goal without any evidence of compromising academic performance…. Restoration of intramural sport programs and expansion of the school day for such programs in middle and high schools may provide opportunities for all students to be physically active."

"We need to educate teachers and administrators that physical education is important for youngsters," says Dr. Malina, noting that historically when concerns about progress in math and science emerge, physical education and art get moved aside. "The evidence is clear, a renewed emphasis on physical activity in our schools will not have a negative impact on academics," he says.

The recommendations are reasonable and achievable by most children with some effort, the experts say. Parents, pediatricians, daycare centers, and preschools also play important roles in encouraging healthy behaviors, panelists say. Communities can as well by providing safe, appropriate settings such as bike paths and green space, they say.

And if an hour is good, is more even better? "I don’t think there is any question that more is better within limits," Dr. Strong says, noting again the importance of the recommendations being based on available science.

Other panelists and authors include Dr. Cameron J.R. Blimkie, McMaster University, Ontario; Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati; Dr. Rodney K. Dishman, University of Georgia; Dr. Bernard Gutin, MCG; Dr. Albert C. Hergenroeder, Baylor College of Medicine; Dr. Aviva Must, Tufts University School of Medicine; Dr. Patricia A. Nixon, Wake Forest University; Dr. James M. Pivarnik, Michigan State University; Dr. Thomas Rowland, Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.; Dr. Stewart Trost, Kansas State University; and Dr. Francois Trudeau, Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elsevierhealth.com/
http://www.mcg.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>