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

 

NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>

ALSO:

Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news