Intervention Helps Kids Adopt Healthier Behaviors
A program designed to increase the activity of third
graders during school helped the children change to activities such as swimming
and soccer instead of watching television. The 8-week program included physical
education classes that featured activities such as jump rope and other
non-competitive exercise. There were three 20-minute sessions per week.
Additionally, children were encouraged to increase their level of activity at
Before the study began, the children were asked to list
their three most common leisure activities. About 24 percent listed activities
such as watching television, reading and playing video games. After the
school-based intervention, the percentage dropped to 16 percent.
This study is especially important given the knowledge that
heart disease can start developing in childhood. And just as important is that
the children enjoyed the program, which increases the probability that children
enrolled in such programs will continue with the healthier behaviors.
Association’s Scientific Sessions 2004.