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Why is physical activity so important for children? What's the big deal?

Regular physical activity helps children:

  • Build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints
  • Control weight, build lean muscle, and reduce fat
  • Prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure
  • Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
  • May increase children's capacity for learning
  • Promote social well-being


Sanders, S. W. (2002). Active for Life: Developmentally appropriate movement programs for young children. National Association for the Education of Young Children: Washington, DC.

Center for Disease Control. "The Importance of Regular Physical Activity for Children".




Sara Gable, Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension






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Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2009





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