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Researchers aim to boost physical activity in preschoolers

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“The University of Western Australia is teaming up with partners in the early education and care sector to find ways to improve young’s children’s physical activity, health and development. It follows a pilot study that found 82 per cent of children attending childcare were not meeting national physical activity guidelines. Dr Hayley Christian from UWA’s School of Population Health said the new research would look at how professionally developed activity programs in childcare centres and upgrades to outdoor play spaces at the centres impacted children’s physical activity. “Physical activity in young children has broad health benefits such as instilling active behaviour, improved bone development, reduced risk of obesity, and enhanced cognitive and psychosocial development,” Dr Christian said. Data already collected by the team from more than 40 childcare centres in Perth and more than 800 families has already shown that on average children are only achieving two of the three hours a day of recommended physical activity.”(more)

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