Activity To Keep Up With Friends"
The Time (5/25, Rochman) "Healthland"
blog reported that according to a study in Pediatrics, "the
single biggest influence on kids' physical activity levels was
the exercise habits of their six closest friends." Researchers
"studied networks of friends in an after-school program
involving students ages five to 12. Using a pedometer-like device
that recorded minute muscle movements, the researchers tracked
kids' physical activity levels over a period of 12 weeks."
The researchers "were able to track how the youngsters
made and dropped friends, and what effect these changing relationships
had on their physical activity level."
Reuters (5/29, Pittman) reports that those who were less active
became more active if they made friends who were more active
than they. The study covered 81 students aged five to 12.
The CNN (5/29, Caruso) "The Chart" blog reports, "While
children do not make or break friendships based on physical
activity, a new study suggests their social network of friends
can greatly influence how much they move."
HealthDay (5/29, Dotinga) reports, "The findings don't
prove that friends directly affect how active kids are, and
it's not clear whether there's enough of an impact to make a
difference in obesity or activity levels throughout the day."
MedPage Today (5/29, Phend) reports, "Kids consistently
altered their activity level by 10% or more to match their friends."
WebMD (5/29, Boyles) reports, "Children in social groups
that included others who were physically active were six times
more likely to be physically active themselves."
In Small Study, Students With Enhanced Physical Education Had
Improved Grades. HealthDay(5/28, Preidt) reported, "Boosting
students' levels of physical education improves their grades,"
according to a study of 200 Swedish "schoolchildren, starting
from first through third grade, for nine years. Some children
were assigned to an intervention group that received physical
education five days a week, plus extra training in motor-physical
skills such as balance and coordination," while the others
"received usual levels of physical education." The
results were that "96 percent of students in the intervention
group achieved grades that made them eligible to advance to
upper-secondary school, compared with 89 percent of students
in the control group.