Ditching the gadgets to stay healthy

Children need to be more active to avoid vitamin D deficiency now and to be healthy adults later, says Professor Jo Salmon.

Childen hooked on electronic gadgets are suffering vitamin D deficiency and risk health problems later in life, the Herald-Sun has reported.

Deakin University Professor Jo Salmon is heading a three-year study into the sedentary habits of more than 600 eight-year-old Victorian children, to find ways to reduce their inactivity at school and at home.

She said the explosion of screen-based gadgets meant the problem had moved way beyond the losing battle to restrict TV viewing hours and was potentially a major health issue for the adults of tomorrow.

The national nutrition and physical activity survey, published by the CSIRO in 2008, revealed just 7 per cent of nine- to 16-year-olds adhered to the recommended two hours of total screen time a day.

"The amount of screen time for children is becoming a major concern," Professor Salmon said. "We really need kids to be more active."

The number of tech-savvy, but immobile youngsters is increasing at an alarming rate, Professor Salmon’s study has found.

The project is aimed at battling the sedentary habits of eight-year-olds.

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