Kids as physically active as their friends are, study finds

Kids as physically active as their friends are, study finds

How much do your kids’ friendships matter when it comes to how physically active they are?

A lot, according to a new study done by Vanderbilt University and published in the journal Pediatrics, June 2012.

In a study of 81 children ages five to 12 in an after-school program, researchers found the strongest influence on how much time the kids spent in activity (moderate-to-vigorous) was the activity levels of their immediate friends.

Kids didn’t make or break friendships based on physical activity levels, but their existing friendships “heavily influenced” their activity levels, according to the study authors.

Given the ill health effects of obesity that can carry into adulthood, the authors concluded in a written statement, network interventions have the potential to significantly change kids’ physical activity levels.

About 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2-19 are obese, and obesity prevalence among children and adolescents in the U.S. since 1980 has about  tripled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Comments embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments