Children unable to play due to couch potato culture

New research published online in the American Journal of Human Biology has suggested that sedentary children have impaired co-ordination, in comparison with their peers who are more active.

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 15th August 2012

It was found that children who spend more than three quarters of their free time watching TV or playing computer games have co-ordination which is almost nine times worse than their more active peers.  The study of 110 girls and 103 boys found that the most sedentary of the children were unable to balance properly, jump up and down or hop on one leg over an obstacle.

Adverse effects

Dr Luis Lopes, from the University of Minho in Portugal, said to the Telegraph:

“Childhood is a critical time for the development of motor coordination skills which are essential for health and well being.  We know sedentary lifestyles have a negative effect on these skills and are associated with decreased fitness, lower self-esteem, decreased academic achievement and increased obesity.”

Valuable contribution

Lopes concluded:

“The results demonstrate the importance of setting a maximum time for sedentary behaviour, while encouraging children to increase their amount of physical activity.  We hope our findings will make a valuable contribution to the debate on child health and encourage future investigations on this subject.”

Source:  The Telegraph, The couch potato children who cannot throw or catch, 15th August 2012

Image: Tobyotter @ Flickr

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