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Physical Inactivity Could Lead to Poor Motor Coordination In Children

Update Date: Aug 15, 2012 10:02 AM EDT

A new study has revealed that excessive TV watching could hamper their body coordination.

According to the study, spending more than three-quarters of their time watching Television or playing video games, makes them nine times more prone to poor body coordination when compared to their peers who are active.

The study involving 200 plus children found that children who were less active could not balance properly, jump up and down, hop on one leg over an obstacle or shift a platform.

"Childhood is a critical time for the development of motor coordination skills which are essential for health and well being. We know sedentary lifestyles have a negative effect on these skills and are associated with decreased fitness, lower self-esteem, decreased academic achievement and increased obesity," Dr Luis Lopes, of the University of Minho in Portugal was quoted as saying by Telegraph.

According to the study, the children spent 75.6 percent of their time being inactive on an average, but apparently, it affected the motor coordination in boy more than it did in girl.

In case of girls, it was found that spending 77.3 perccent or more of their time being inactive made them four to five times less more prone to having a bad motor coordination. However, boys who spent 76 percent of their time being inactive were between five and nine times less likely to have good motor coordination, the report said.

"It is very clear from our study a high level of sedentary behaviour is an independent predictor of low motor coordination, regardless of physical activity levels and other key factors.  High sedentary behaviour had a significant impact on the children's motor coordination, with boys being more adversely affected than girls," Dr Lopes said.

For the study, 110 girls and 103 boys aged nine to ten from 13 urban schools were studied.

The sedentary behaviour and physical activity of the children was measured and tracked for five days. The motor coordination of the children was assessed with tests that required them to balance, jumping laterally, hop and shift platforms.

"The results demonstrate the importance of setting a maximum time for sedentary behaviour, while encouraging children to increase their amount of physical activity. We hope our findings will make a valuable contribution to the debate on child health and encourage future investigations on this subject," Dr Lopes added.

The study was published in the American Journal of Human Biology.

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