Kids Get Their Exercise in Short Spurts
Encouraging brief spurts of activity may help kids’ fitness sprout. Researchers curious about kids’ fitness habits outfitted 50 preschoolers with accelerometers to measure their activity for a week. On average, it took about 11 hours for children to get 90 percent of their recommended daily moderate to vigorous exercise. That’s because the young kids exercised in spurts, each averaging less than five minutes. (In contrast, adults tend to get most daily exercise at once, such as at the gym or by playing sports.) Boys and girls did the same amount of exercise, but boys spent a greater percentage of their time doing longer exercises that lasted seven to nine minutes while girls more often did frequent spurts of activity that clocked in under a minute. Based on the findings, games such as tag, which includes short bursts of running, may be good fitness options for young children.
Source: Obesity, November 2013