It is incredibly important for young children to be engaged in physical activity each day at preschool. Not only will it help them concentrate throughout the day, but it will also help their overall health. According to a study by the University of Washington published in the journal Pediatrics, preschoolers are only getting an average of 48 minutes of exercise each day. This is in direct contrast to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that suggest kids get a minimum of one hour of exercise.
Lead author of the study Dr. Pooja S. Tandon of Seattle Children's Research Institute and her coauthors observed almost 100 kids ages 3 to 5 years old in 10 preschools for over 50 days. Through their research, they found that the children were exercising for only 12 percent of their day. The majority of their day was spent being relatively inactive.
Tandon claims this small amount is not enough. Daily moderate to vigorous physical activity aids in the prevention of childhood obesity and contributes to overall wellbeing. This is a pressing matter considering a CDC report, which found that the percentage of children 6 to 11 years old who are obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 2012.
To experience the benefits of extra outdoor playtime for students, preschools are devising creative strategies to get their kids moving, according to an article in USA Today. Children can incorporate their learning with their exercise through spelling out words while jumping rope or playing games that include counting or addition. Getting children active can be a further extension of a teacher's classroom instruction.
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