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NWF Green Hour

Commentary on what parents should know about and can do to counteract common "nature deficit disorders" in our TV-watching, video game-playing children including encouraging a daily "Green Hour" of outside play and learning. A program of the National Wildlife Federation

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Pre-schools need to offer more active/outdoor time: study finds

Outdoor time is a key to healthier children 3 to 5 years old.

USA Today, November 2004

"Low activity level could be contributing to the increasing problem of excess weight in kids, says researcher Russ Pate, a professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina-Columbia. About 10% of children ages 2 to 5 are overweight; another 12% are at risk of becoming so, the latest government statistics show. More than half of 3- to 5-year-olds go to preschool. Children need more vigorous play during unstructured free time at preschool"

In the study, Pate and colleagues examined activity levels of 281 kids at nine preschools in Columbia, S.C., including church-based, private programs and Head Start.
The children wore accelerometers, a small activity monitor, for about 4 hours a day. Researchers also watched their activities. Among findings published in November's Pediatrics:
The kids did an average of 7.7 minutes an hour of moderate to vigorous activity at preschool. Often it was done in blocks of time when the children were outside." Read More

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