Does your preschooler sit too much?

Many parents and caregivers of preschool age children lament that their charges don’t sit still. But recent studies show that they may be sitting still too much for their own good. Lindsay Ungewitter, primary teacher at Pinewoods Montessori, has this to share.

The preschool years are a time of tremendous growth. The cognitive, social and emotional development of your child is greatly enhanced by a quality preschool education but what about the health of your child? Here again the right setting makes all the difference, not just in early childhood, but also in establishing habits that will last a lifetime.

The child-centered approach of a Montessori preschool classroom encourages the activity levels that are needed to keep children healthy. In fact, children attending Montessori preschools spent less time in sedentary behavior than those attending traditional preschools, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

“The participants in this study were preschool children aged 4 years old who were enrolled in Montessori and traditional preschools. The preschool children wore ActiGraph accelerometers. Accelerometers were initialized using 15-second intervals and sedentary behavior was defined as <200 counts/15-second. The accelerometry data were summarized into the average minutes per hour spent in sedentary behavior during the in-school, the after-school, and the total-day period. Mixed linear regression models were used to determine differences in the average time spent in sedentary behavior between children attending traditional and Montessori preschools, after adjusting for selected potential correlates of preschoolers’ sedentary behavior.”

In a Montessori classroom, most of the child’s time is spent in self-chosen activities. Not only are children allowed to move freely throughout the classroom but they are also encouraged to participate in physical activities such as sweeping, dusting, cleaning and gardening. Children take these skills home and these healthy habits help children stay more active all day.

With levels of childhood obesity on the rise, we can not ignore the importance of fostering activity in early childhood. A Montessori preschool is the best place for the development of the whole, healthy child.

About Pinewoods Montessori

Located in Hillsborough and convenient to Chapel Hill, Durham and Mebane, Pinewoods creates an environment where learning is natural, and where your child will joyfully and effectively develop independence and self-discipline. Visit our web site or call 919-644-2090 to learn more.