- by Dr Gowher Yusuf
- 4 Shares
- Jul 10 2017
High Sedentary Levels Lessen Motor Coordination in Children
(Source: Am J Hum Biol. Published online August 15 2012)
Children who spend more than 75% of their time watching television or in other sedentary activities may be 5 to 9 times more likely to have less motor coordination than other children who are more active, according to a study in the American Journal of Human Biology. In addition, increased physical activity alone might not compensate for the ill effects of being sedentary without also reducing the amount of sedentary time, the researchers write.
Luís Lopes, from the Research Centre on Child Studies, Institute of Education, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, and colleagues conducted a school-based study in which 213 northern Portuguese children (110 girls and 103 boys) aged 9 and 10 years wore accelerometers that recorded their daily physical and sedentary activities for 5 consecutive days during the spring of 2010.
The researchers measured motor coordination using a German body coordination test that assessed the children's jumping, hopping, balance, and platform-shifting abilities. They also calculated waist-to-height ratios and used questionnaire responses from parents to assess child and parental health variables and the mothers' education levels, an indication of socioeconomic status.
Although 46.3% of girls and 59.3% of boys had normal or good motor coordination, girls showed less motor coordination and fewer minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity than boys overall, and boys showed less sedentary time than girls overall.
The researchers conclude, "Our findings suggested that [physical activity] levels per se may not overcome the deleterious influence of high levels of [sedentary behavior] on [motor coordination]. Our data stress the importance of discouraging [sedentary behavior] among children to improve [motor coordination]."
"The results demonstrate the importance of setting a maximum time for sedentary behavior, while encouraging children to increase their amount of physical activity," Dr. Lopes said in a news release.
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