Does your kid spend way too much time sitting in front of the television or computer instead of playing outside? A new study says that kids between the ages 9-10 who spend 75% of their time engaging in sedentary
activities are up to nine
times more likely to exhibit poor motor coordination than their more active counterparts.
The findings were revealed by researchers in Portugal, who used accelerometers to measure the sedentary and physical activity levels of 110 girls and 103 boys from urban elementary schools. These measurements were then compared to the results of a motor coordination test known as the Körperkoordination Test für Kinder.
Boys who spent a majority of their time on sedentary activities were shown to have worse motor coordination skills than comparable girls. Girls who spent 77.3% of their time on sedentary behaviors were four to five times more likely to exhibit lower-than-average motor coordination. Boys who were sedentary more than 76% of the time were five to nine times more likely to exhibit lower motor coordination.
The team also performed a logistic regression analysis to determine if
variables such as physical activity level, parental education
and body type had an affect on the results, and found that sedentary activity levels
was the most consistent predictor.
That meant that watching a few hours
of TV cannot be effectively
“cancelled out” by going for a jog or taking up sports lessons, at least as far as motor
coordination is concerned. The findings have been published in American Journal of Human Biology.