UMass researchers get grant to study youth physical activity

The pair will recruit 300 volunteers ages 18 months to 20 years

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Two University of Massachusetts-Amherst researchers have received a $2.2 million federal grant to figure out just how much physical activity kids get.

Kinesiologist John Sirard and statistician John Staudenmayer plan to use the grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop methods for establishing more accurate assessments of physical activity and sedentary behavior in youths.

Sirard says a major problem now is that most physical activity trackers are tested in the lab, and kids don’t move in daily life as they do in a lab.

The pair will recruit 300 volunteers ages 18 months to 20 years to wear physical activity monitors over five years in natural settings, including home, playground and school.

They’re hoping the project leads to better ways to assess and improve the health of youth.

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