A Spring in Your Step

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A new study has concluded that seasonal births can affect the energy levels and sporting prowess in children. “Children of the ‘90s,” conducted by Calum Mattocks of Bristol University in England, was one of the largest studies ever undertaken on childhood and followed the development of 14,000 children. The study found that children born in autumn and winter are more likely to be sporty – nine percent more so, in fact, than those born in spring. Summer babies are 4.5 percent more active than spring tots, who have been deemed most sluggish.

The study concluded that the explanation is unlikely to be biological, and more likely reflects the time a child begins school: Children born in spring start school at a younger age and are therefore smaller and at physical disadvantage to their peers. Larger and more adept children seem more likely to be motivated to play sport and keep active, whereas younger kids feel less confident.

“If teachers are aware of this, they can try to make it possible for younger children to achieve at an appropriate level. This could help them stay motivated, before they decide they’re ‘no good at games,’” Mattocks was quoted as saying in a China Daily report.

Having one older sibling and one physically active parent also leads children to be four percent more active, the report found, while kids who watched TV heavily in their early years were less than one percent more inactive than their peers by age 11.

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