Study: Preschoolers aren't getting enough exercise at child care - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Preschoolers aren't getting enough exercise at child care centers


A recent study suggests kids aren't doing as much physical activity at child care centers as they should.

Playtime that involves exercise isn't only fun but child development experts say it's essential.

For preschoolers at University School for Young Children, playing is a big part of their day. Whether it's out on the playground or in the classroom, these kids are always on the move. Early Childhood Educator Megan St. John said that's all part of their development.

“There's so much growth that happens with their bodies and brains when they're moving as much as they are, especially when they're outside. When they're sedentary, when they're sitting at tables, when they're just sitting on the couch or playing video games, they're some things they get from those but not near as much as when they're moving,” St. John said.

That's why experts recommend children get 120 minutes of exercise per day, however, researchers at Seattle Children's Research Institute find kids only average 48 minutes of physical activity per day at preschool. It's a statistic St. John said does not apply here.

“We usually shoot for an hour in the morning and then in the afternoon we do a lot outside, so I would say we at least get two hours outside,” St. John said.

Aside from playtime, the school provides organized group activities that strengthen kids' motor skills and help instill a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Hula hoops, balls, running,” Assistant Director Kim Rueseler said.

Another teacher and parent, Katie Rumfelt, said no matter what they're doing, staying moving is always a top priority.

“They're very active at this age, so we definitely provide a lot of opportunities for them to move,” Rumfelt said.

Rumfelt suggests parents also take their kids outside to play as much as possible to go for a walk, ride bikes, or go to the park.

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