The Contribution of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviours to the Growth and Development of Children and Adolescents

School of Human Movement Studies, Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.04). 02/2007; 37(6):533-45. DOI: 10.2165/00007256-200737060-00006
Source: PubMed


The obesity epidemic is a global trend and is of particular concern in children. Recent reports have highlighted the severity of obesity in children by suggesting: "today's generation of children will be the first for over a century for whom life expectancy falls." This review assesses the evidence that identifies the important role of physical activity in the growth, development and physical health of young people, owing to its numerous physical and psychological health benefits. Key issues, such as "does a sedentary lifestyle automatically lead to obesity" and "are levels of physical activity in today's children less than physical activity levels in children from previous generations?", are also discussed.Today's environment enforces an inactive lifestyle that is likely to contribute to a positive energy balance and childhood obesity. Whether a child or adolescent, the evidence is conclusive that physical activity is conducive to a healthy lifestyle and prevention of disease. Habitual physical activity established during the early years may provide the greatest likelihood of impact on mortality and longevity. It is evident that environmental factors need to change if physical activity strategies are to have a significant impact on increasing habitual physical activity levels in children and adolescents. There is also a need for more evidence-based physical activity guidelines for children of all ages. Efforts should be concentrated on facilitating an active lifestyle for children in an attempt to put a stop to the increasing prevalence of obese children.

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    • "Early childhood obesity is associated with health consequences that may persist into adolescence and adulthood [2, 3]. Physical activity (PA) is one of the factors that influence the healthy development of children and their weight, but the majority of preschoolers tend to be inactive [4, 5]. Inactivity has been suggested as being one of the key factors contributing to the obesity epidemic in children [6, 7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Physical activity (PA) in preschoolers is vital to protect against obesity but is influenced by different early-life factors. The present study investigated the impact of different preschool programs and selected family factors on preschoolers' PA in different countries in an explorative way. Methods: The PA of 114 children (age = 5.3 ± 0.65 years) attending different preschool settings in four cities of the trinational Upper Rhine region (Freiburg, Landau/Germany, Basel/Switzerland, and Strasbourg/France) was measured by direct accelerometry. Anthropometrical and family-related data were obtained. Timetables of preschools were analyzed. Results: Comparing the preschool settings, children from Strasbourg and Landau were significantly more passive than children from Basel and Freiburg (P < .01). With regard to the family context as an important early-life factor, a higher number of children in a family along with the mother's and child's anthropometrical status are predictors of engagement in PA. Conclusion: More open preschool systems such as those in Basel, Freiburg, and Landau do not lead to more PA "per se" compared to the highly regimented desk-based system in France. Preliminaries such as special training and the number of caregivers might be necessary elements to enhance PA. In family contexts, targeted PA interventions for special groups should be more focused in the future.
    Journal of obesity 06/2014; 2014:321701. DOI:10.1155/2014/321701
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    • "). Leikin ja liikkumisen avulla lapsi oppii tuntemaan oman kehonsa sekä ymmärtämään mitä kaikkia liikkeitä hän pystyy sillä tekemään (Gallahue ym., 2012, 174). Liikunta vaikuttaa myönteisesti lapsen sosiaaliseen ja henkiseen kehitykseen (Hills ym., 2007) sekä motoristen perustaitojen oppimiseen (Stodden ym., 2008), jotka jaetaan tasapainotaitoihin, liikkumistaitoihin sekä välineenkäsittelytaitoihin (Gallahue ym., 2012, 186). Motoristen perustaitojen kehittyminen vaatii mahdollisuutta liikkua päivittäin erilaisissa ympäristöissä ja erilaisten välineiden kanssa. "
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    ABSTRACT: TIIVISTELMÄ: Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena oli selvittää 3-4-vuotiaiden lasten fyysisen aktiivisuuden intensiteetin eroja päiväkodissa eri vuodenaikoina sekä varhaiskasvattajan kannustuksen yhteyttä lasten fyysiseen aktiivisuuteen. Tutkimusjoukko muodostui päiväkotien vuonna 2007 syntyneistä vapaaehtoisista lapsista. Tutkimusaineisto kerättiin havainnoimalla OSRAC-P -havainnointimenetelmän avulla 14 päiväkodissa tammi-helmikuussa (N 94) sekä elo-syyskuussa (N 118) vuonna 2011. Lasten fyysinen aktiivisuus oli pääosan ajasta (noin 60 %) intensiteetiltään erittäin kevyttä. Intensiteetiltään vähintään keskiraskaan fyysisen aktiivisuuden esiintyvyys oli noin 10 %. Vuodenajalla oli erittäin merkitsevä yhteys lasten fyysisen aktiivisuuden intensiteettiin, sillä lapset olivat huomattavasti aktiivisempia elo-syyskuussa kuin tammi-helmikuussa. Varhaiskasvattajat kannustivat lapsia vain harvoin fyysiseen aktiivisuuteen, vaikka lasten aktiivisuus oli merkitsevästi suurempaa kannustettaessa. Varhaiskasvattajan kannustusta sisältäneissä tilanteissa lasten fyysinen aktiivisuus oli merkitsevästi suurempaa elo-syyskuussa kuin tammi-helmikuussa. Jatkossa tulisikin kiinnittää huomiota siihen, miten päiväkodeissa voitaisiin hyödyntää eri vuodenajat paremmin ja mahdollistaa lapsille fyysiseen aktiivisuuteen kannustavat olosuhteet ympäri vuoden. ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether season has an influence on the physical activity intensity of 3-4-year-old pre-school children. A further aim was to investigate the influence of prompting from teachers on the intensity of childrens' physical activity. Volunteer children born in 2007 comprised the research
    Journal of Early Childhood Education Research 01/2013; 2(1):63-82.
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    • "Since (childhood) obesity is detrimental to physical as well as mental health, helping people to avoid becoming overweight and obese has become a pressing public health priority (Visscher and Seidell, 2001). Because sedentary behaviors have been associated with overweight and obesity (Hills et al., 2007; Te Velde et al., 2007; Rey-Lopez et al., 2008), reducing sedentary behavior has been identified as an important target for the prevention of overweight and obesity (DeMattia et al., 2007). A major source of sedentary pastime is playing video games. "
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    ABSTRACT: Active video games that require whole body movement to play the game may be an innovative health promotion tool to substitute sedentary pastime with more active time and may therefore contribute to children's health. To inform strategies aimed at reducing sedentary behavior by replacing non-active by active gaming, opinions about active and non-active video games are explored among 8- to 12-year-old children and their parents.Six qualitative, semi-structured focus groups were held with 8- to 12-year-old children (n = 46) and four with their parents (n = 19) at three different primary schools in The Netherlands. The focus groups with children discussed game preferences, gaming context and perceived game-related parenting. The focus groups with parents addressed considerations in purchasing video games, perceived positive and negative consequences of gaming, and game-related parenting.Both children and their parents were very positive about active video games and preferred active games over non-active games. Active video games were considered more social than non-active video games, and active games were played more often together with friends and family than non-active video games. Parenting practices did not differ for active and non-active video games, although some parents were less strict regarding active games. Two conditions for practical implementation were met: children enjoyed active video games, and parents were willing to buy active video games.Active video games were preferred to non-active video games, illustrating that using active video games is a promising health promotion tool to reduce sedentary pastime in youth.
    Health Promotion International 12/2012; 29(2). DOI:10.1093/heapro/das064 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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