With the focus nowadays on insuring that our children and teens get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, we probably should ask ourselves what is the best location for that to happen? Is it at school, near school, at home, near home or at some other location? Carlson et al. (10.1542/peds.2015-2430) studied 549 teens in two US regions distributed in more than 440 census block regions to see where they experience the most time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
To do this, they equipped teens with accelerometers and GPS devices. While it is true that most physical activity occurred at school, the amount of MVPA time spent relative to the total amount of time spent at school is exceedingly low (<5%)when compared to time spent in the neighborhood near home where the percentage of MVPA was much higher.
Do you ask your patients where they are getting their most physical activity? If it is not at school, perhaps it is time to share what you learn with your local school(s) so they increase the MVPA there or if not possible, then discuss ways to get the MVPA daily requirement safely into neighborhoods where your patients live and play outside of school. This is an interesting methodology to get a better handle on how we can better target locations for enhanced physical activity—so get moving and read this study to learn more.