Primary school children are too inactive, warns study

They never seem to sit still, but children are not active enough say scientists

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Young children urgently need to be more active a new study has found. 

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Researchers at the Universities of Strathclyde and Newcastle found that some 8 to 10-year-olds were active for only 20 minutes a day. They recommended active time is 60 minutes a day.

Scientists looked at 508 primary school children using advanced pedometers to measure their physical activity levels over a week.

On average the children spent just 4% of waking time, approximately 20 minutes, doing moderate to vigorous activity. The study also found that girls were less active than boys.

Dr Mark Pearce, from Newcastle University, said the low activity levels were surprising especially the fact that “girls were even lower”.

“Activity drops in teenage years and if it’s this low at eight, there’s not much further to fall,” Mark said.

The researchers highlighted that it’s important for parents to get their children being active and enjoying sport, but that responsibility also lay with schools and education authorities.

“There is an urgent need for interventions, at home and at school, which will help primary school children become more physically active,” said Professor John Reilly, from the University of Strathclyde.

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