Monday, July 2, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
CHILDREN are weaker and less muscular because indoor activities are replacing the great outdoors, according to an international study.
Exercises that 10-year-olds found easy a decade ago are more difficult for their counterparts of today, scientists have found - and time spent in front of the TV and computer is partly to blame.
New research in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica shows kids' "muscular fitness" is on the wane, which experts say could have serious long-term health effects.
The ability of 10-year-olds to perform sit-ups, grip objects and hold their own weight decreased in comparative studies in England in 1998 and 2008.
The study also found the children's body mass index had not changed, meaning that, "pound for pound, they're weaker and probably carrying more fat."
Associate Prof Jeff Walkley from RMIT's school of health sciences said the UK study reinforced global trends.
"Worldwide, kids are less able to undertake physical tasks than they were in the past," he said.
"At the extreme end, kids are just physically incapable of doing things like walking up stairs. Children are being driven everywhere ... doing less physically challenging things, and spending more time in front of the television and using social media."
Inactivity has never been a problem in the Walsh household.
Mother-of-three Jacque Walsh said her sons - football fanatics Sam, 10, Henry, 8, and Tommy, 4 - find any excuse to play outside.
"We have to call them in just to eat," she said.
"They love any sport, and they're really self-sufficient. Being fit and active is really important in our family."