Better schoolgrounds and pet dogs improve children’s activity levels

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 17 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4487
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Renovated schoolgrounds improve children’s levels of physical activity, a US study has found, and a study carried out in three English cities showed that children whose families owned a dog were more active than other children. Both studies were published in the American Journal of Public Health (doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.178939; doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.188193).

    While at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity are recommended for children to reduce the risk of obesity, only 2% of US public elementary schools provide daily sessions of physical education or its equivalent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The authors, who are affiliated with the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Hawaii, compared children’s activity levels at nine elementary schools, all in low income areas: three control …

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