HEALTH

Preschoolers spend more time sitting, report says

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Gabriela Gergley can't imagine her 5-year-old son sitting in the classroom all day long.

“I actually think the more they exercise the more focused they'll be once they go inside for the instructional time,” she says.

But according to a new study released Wednesday, most preschoolers aren't physically active in school.

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 70 to 83 percent of their time is spent sitting compared to 2 to 3 percent of time spent in vigorous activity.

The director of the University of Maryland Center for Young Children – Dr. Francine Favretto - wasn't shocked when she read the release.

At her center, children go outside for at least thirty minutes, twice a day - even on this chilly day as long as they had their coats, hats and scarves.

“Even in the classrooms the children are physically dancing and moving about because we know how important it is, children can't sit for that period of time they need to be physically active,” Favretto says.

The study found that most teachers know physical activity is important but are cutting back on it for several reasons, including limited outdoor space and more emphasis on abc's and 123s

It also found that many parents and teachers are worried about children getting hurt while playing, something Ellen Sullivan doesn't understand.

“I think there is an obesity epidemic worldwide and its more of a hazard for people not to move around and exercise,” Sullivan says.

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