Active Children Can Boost Friends’ Activity Levels

Follow the leader can be a great game to play for kids who spend time with active friends.

In the study, “The Distribution of Physical Activity in an Afterschool Friendship Network,” in the June 2012 Pediatrics (published online May 28), researchers from Vanderbilt University studied data from 81 children 5 to 12 years of age participating in a 12-week afterschool program to examine whether physical activity patterns are influenced by a child’s friendship network.

The strongest influence on the amount of time children spent in moderate to vigorous activity in the afterschool programs was the activity level of their immediate friends.

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