Research Finds Preschoolers Need More Opportunities for Active Play

outdoor playThe early childhood years are crucial for learning and development which should always involve a great deal of outdoor physical activity and playtime, but new research shows that’s not always the case. Results from a two-year study published today in Pediatrics show that children in daycares and preschools were presented with only 48 minutes of opportunities for physically active play per day — significantly less than what’s recommended. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education and Let’s Move! Child Care recommend that children should receive at least 120 minutes of active play time daily, including child-led free play and teacher-led play.

Dr. Pooja Tandon, the study’s lead investigator and member of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, observed nearly 100 children ages 3 to 5 from ten child care centers throughout Seattle. “We discovered that on average, children were sedentary for 73 percent of their day,” said Tandon. “But what is even more troubling is the fact that kids are not even being offered the opportunities to achieve the recommended amount of active play. If they are not getting the opportunity, they obviously will not meet the overall recommendation of 120 total minutes of physical activity.”

Read more about this study here or register to attend a Puget Sound Business Journal breakfast event on June 26 to learn how Seattle Children’s Research Institute is tackling today’s most pressing child health issues to create a healthier future for children and families everywhere.