Children being fitted with GPS trackers are common nowadays. A lot of parents are aware on how important it is to ensure the safety of their children, so they have turned to technology to provide a quick and convenient solution. But GPS has now extended its use for research purposes, specifically for those concerned with the pediatric healthcare industry.
In Perth, a number of childcare centers have used GPS trackers to research on the physical activity of preschoolers. This follows a study conducted by the University of Western Australia, which found that 82 percent of children were not getting enough exercise.
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The overall goal of the study is to encourage children to be more active. This comes at a time wherein backyards have reduced in size to adhere to personal aesthetics and technologies such as mobile phones and console games have continued to become more popular.
According to Dr. Hailey Christian, physical activity is important among children as it instills active behavior and a number of health benefits such as reducing the risk of obesity, enhanced cognition, and even psychosocial development. Dr. Christian also stresses that the “physical activity” noted in the study is nowhere near the ones practiced by most adults but definitely pertains to more than just sitting down.
Together with her team, Dr. Christian has been fitting children with accelerometers that measure body movement and GPS trackers to monitor which equipment and environments promote the most activity. The guidelines state that a majority of the study should take place at childcare centers.
Dr. Christian has added that her team is working with partners in the early education and care sector to develop a set of guidelines that will promote healthier environments for children.
“The findings from this project are likely to positively influence policy and practice relating to the physical activity and health of children attending childcare,” Dr. Christian told Daily Mail. “The project has the potential to increase the number of WA preschoolers, achieving the Australian guidelines of at least three hours of physical activity per day.”
It seems like Perth needs a little remodeling for their childcare centers as well, since the limited spaces have served as a factor in deterring physical activity. Hopefully, a similar study can be done in other parts of the world for healthcare sectors to encourage the younger population to be more active.