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Largest ever global study finds kids not active enough

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New research confirms what many suspect about the ipad generation’s activity level.

The largest global study to examine physical activity in children aged between two and five years old has found that 66% are not getting the nationally recommended three hours of daily physical activity.

Led by the University of Western Australia with funding from Healthway and the Heart Foundation tracked the physical activity of 1600 children from more than 100 Perth early childhood education and care services over the past two years.

The researchers attached activity monitoring belts to the children and tracked their activity throughout the day over the course of a week.

Early childhood is a critical period for developing healthy behaviours like physical activity, reduced sedentary and screen time and good sleep habits.

The first five years are also vitally important for a child's physical, cognitive and social-emotional development and learning which impacts on their future life chances.

Lead researcher Hayley Christian focusses on improving children’s physical activity levels, health and well-being through multi-level interventions focussed on the child, family, social and built environment.

She works on identifying and testing strategies to create healthy early childhood education and care environments and investigating how the home and neighbourhood environment shapes children’s health and development.

Hayley leads the PLAYCE (Play Spaces & Environments for Children’s Physical Activity) program of research, a multidisciplinary team of staff and students based at the School of Population and Global Health.


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