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Alarm as child fitness declines

Monday September 13th, 2010

The fitness levels of Britain's children caused fresh alarm today as a new study highlighted declining rates.

At the age of ten girls are losing fitness faster than boys, researchers found.

And children - old enough to undertake activity without their parents - are increasingly sedentary at weekends, researchers found.

Researchers who studied more than 800 children closely over the course of a year are due to report their findings in the journal Pediatrics.

Amy Thompson, a specialist nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This study reinforces what is already well known - too few children take too little exercise.

"The benefits of physical activity for all age groups is well established. With levels of obesity in children rising, it is vital that we support children to incorporate regular physical activity to their day to day lives."

She added "Children should aim to do at least one hour of moderate intensity activity a day, such as swimming, cycling or running."

Changes in children’s physical activity over 12 months: Longitudinal results from the SPEEDY study’ by Kirsten Corder PhD, Esther M.F. van Slujis PhD, Ulf Ekelund PhD, Andrew P. Jones PhD and Simon J. Griffin MBBS, DM, FRCGP. Pediatrics 13/9/10 doi:10.1542/peds.2010-0048

Tags: Child Health | Fitness | Heart Health | UK News

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