Preschool children who are more physically active are more likely to show behavioural problems, a study has found.
The study, published in Developmental Disabilities, found that increased risk-oriented physical activity, in four -and five-year-olds, such as bike-riding could lead to behaviours including tantrums, disobedience, bullying and arguing with adults.
Monash University researchers, led by Dr Mong-Lin Yu from the Department of Occupational Therapy,examined the way almost 5000 pre-schoolers spent their time using the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children data.
The study also observed Australian children who spend more time alone with adults, and less time playing with peers under supervision, are more likely to exhibit behavioural issues.
Dr Yu said bike riding should be encouraged, but parents should look for warning signs including risky riding and riding for excitement seeking.
"Bike riding is a beneficial activity for young children, but it can be detrimental to their behavioural development if they ride bikes without adequate parental support," Dr Yu said.
The purpose of the study was to determine if children at risk of developing behavioural problems have different activity patterns compared to those not at risk.
Specific aspects of time-use, which concern involvement in activities that provide physical exertion, structure, rest and social engagement were examined.
Gender differences were also found in the same activities, with boys participating in more ‘‘bike riding’’ and activities ‘‘without peers under adult supervision’’ than girls.