One way of prompting physical activity among children is to promote them duringleisure time, tailored to the specific gender.
Researchers found children’s perceptions of what constituted play included both physically active and sedentary behaviours.
Rowan Brockman from the University of Bristol Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, who led the study, said: “Contemporary children do engage in active play and value both the physical and social benefits it provides.”
“This suggests that some children, at least, do not prefer to spend all their time watching TV or on computer,” Brockman added, according to a Bristol statement.
However, whereas boys prefer “having a kick about” or riding bikes, girls are less likely to have an equivalent specific physical activity, the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity reports.
Additionally, boys appear to have greater freedom to roam in their active play than girls. Boys are more likely to play with neighbourhood friends but girls are more often restricted to playing with family members.