What are the health consequences of sedentary behaviour in young children?
Productive and non-productive sedentary behavioursNot all sedentary time is possible to eliminate or even decrease. When making decisions about time spent in sedentary behaviours we need to recognise which behaviours are ‘productive’ and ‘non-productive’.Productive sedentary behaviours include all tasks and activities that are necessary for healthy growth and development such as reading, listening to stories or looking at books, or quiet play, such as art and craft activities, drawing and puzzles.Non-productive sedentary behaviours can negatively impact on a child’s development (if they engage in them excessively) and should be limited. Examples are watching television and DVDs for leisure, playing screen games (video or computer games), or being restrained for long periods of time, in a car seat, high chair or stroller.The evidence we currently have on the health effects of sedentary time in children aged 0 to 5 years of age mostly comes from studies on children’s screen time. This week we will focus our attention on how screen-based activities can impact on the health of young children and contribute to unhealthy weight gain.
Preventing Childhood Obesity: an Early Start to Healthy Living
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