Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Physical Culture | Gear Test, Children's Exercise Products [Slideshow]

“As nationwide concern grows over childhood obesity and inactivity, fitness products masquerading as toys are being designed to slim and tone the younger segment of the population. In many cases, such items are shrunken, stickered and plastic-encased versions of more mainstream adult apparatus found at gyms or health clubs, such as stationary bikes, treadmills and elliptical trainers. But, as Trina Edwards, a youth fitness expert and registered nurse found, there are a few notable differences to these kid-appropriate, pulse-quickening contraptions — greater emphasis on safety being one of them. Ms. Edwards, who is the publisher of the online magazine Kids Sports & Fitness, recruited 15 children between the ages of 3 and 7 at the Commonwealth Elementary School in Sugar Land, Tex., to try four exercise products designed specifically for children. She examined workmanship, safety, fitness benefit, and the general level of excitement it generated in the group. Over all, she found that a child’s age dictated the success of one product over another and that, in at least one case, the allure of video wasn’t as enticing as she had expected.”

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