Even though it might seem like infants never stop moving around, a new study out of Sick Kids Hospital found most of them aren’t getting enough exercise.
Yes, that’s right. All that crawling, drooling, crying, bouncing and screaming…and they’re STILL coming up short. The study found 75 per cent of kids under 18 months of age aren’t getting the 180 minutes of exercise prescribed for children under four. Researchers say the data could serve as a warning that the sedentary behaviour that takes place later in life could actually be set in motion during infancy.
“Children who are more physically active have a better body composition – decreased overweight and obesity, better bone health, better cardio-metabolic health and better cognitive and motor skill development,” epidemiologist Cory Borkhoff said.
So while you could try to expose your child to areas where they tend to play harder (i.e. playgrounds), you might not actually need to. While researchers caution the findings shouldn’t be dismissed, they do say the methodology behind the study might need to be revisited.
To come up with its numbers, children who took part in the study were outfitted with accelerometers that measured their movements for a full week. But Borkhoff says the study was a “first step” to see if physical activity in children that young can even be measured in the first place.
In other words, accelerometers may not have been the best way to go, which could also suggest infants are getting more exercise than they believe.
In any case, it’s a good chance to think about how much exercise your kids are actually getting. You can find out more about the study in the video above.