Yvette J. Brown | CWK Network
“I think [parents] would be surprised to find how little exercise [kids] are getting at school these days.”
- Kelli Lane, preschool fitness instructor -
A group of preschool kids dances the hokey pokey with their teacher. It’s sung in Spanish, but in any language their activity translates to exercise.
How much exercise do preschool students actually get? Not much, according to some experts.
“I think [parents] would be surprised to find how little [kids] are getting at school these days,” says Kelli Lane, a preschool fitness instructor.
Some preschools have structured activities and games that involve movement and exercise. Then there’s free-play, which for some kids means no exercise at all.
“The teachers open the doors. And the kids run outside to the playground, but there’s no real drive to pressure the kids to actually play,” explains Lane. “So it’s okay if you want to go sit down and sit in the playbox … but [they’re] not exercising.”
In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers monitored the activity levels of 281 preschoolers. On average, the kids got about a half-hour of moderate to vigorous activity during a 4-and-a-half hour span. Health experts say children need about two hours a day.
Experts advise getting kids involved in sports and free play away from school. At school, ask plenty of questions. “Find out what their daily schedule is. When are they getting outside to play? Are they getting outside to play? How long are they outside?” Lane suggests. “Because I think we’d be surprised to find it’s not as much as we probably think it is.”
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