News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Childs play helps combats obesity


Childs play helps combats obesity

Research published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal suggests that children can benefit more from active play compared to structured exercise.

“When it comes to combating obesity and increasing children’s daily physical activity levels, active play is just as important, if not more so, than structured exercise,” says Associate Professor Erica Hinckson from AUT University’s Centre for Child Health Research and Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition.

The research examined perceptions of physical activity versus ‘play’ amongst parents and children from socio-economically deprived areas. Findings revealed that participants viewed physical activity and play quite differently, which could lead to barriers in engaging with any type of healthy activity.

“Physical activity was seen as structured activity, undertaken for a specific timeframe every day, whereas play was seen as unstructured activity which involved having fun,” says Hinckson.

“The view that physical activity is something structured (in order to be beneficial) seemed to distance participants from engagement. There was a strong perception that physical activity was ‘good for you’, rather than ‘being fun’, and this perception seemed to be a barrier to children getting involved in physical activity.”

A group of South Auckland school children (age 8-12), and their parents took part in the study where the aim was to identify factors influencing healthy and overweight children’s after school activities.

Previous research has found significant differences in the health and weight of children from lower socio-economic backgrounds compared to middle income families.
“After school community activity programmes have been identified as a means of increasing overall activity levels in children, however the emphasis of these should be on ‘play’ rather than physical activity.”

Hinckson says that while interventions focusing on active play have proved successful at increasing physical activity, some practitioners do not view play as physically demanding or able to provide children with the same benefits of structured exercise.

Despite this, previous research has shown that children engage with more moderate to vigorous physical activity from active play during lunch break at school than from structured exercise in physical education classes.

Parents in the study also highlighted a number of potential barriers to increased physical activity levels in their children; these included time, money and transport. Community support and communication were identified as important in creating safer communities and places to play for children.

“For after school community activity programmes to be successful, a safe neighbourhood environment in conjunction with increased community support is really important for parents.

“Free or low cost programmes, supervised playgrounds, improved community communication and support, car pooling kids to activities – these were amongst some of the recommendations we received from our parents to increase physical activity of children in their neighbourhoods,” says Hinckson.
Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news