Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise shields children from stress, research indicates

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
Endocrine Society
Summary:
Exercise may play a key role in helping children cope with stressful situations, according to a recent study.

Exercise may play a key role in helping children cope with stressful situations, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Related Articles


When they are exposed to everyday stressors, the study found sedentary children had surges of cortisol -- a hormone linked to stress. The most active children had little or no increase in their cortisol levels in similar situations.

"The findings suggest physical activity plays a role in mental health by buffering children from the effects of daily stressors, such as public speaking," said the study's lead author, Silja Martikainen, MA, of the University of Helsinki, Finland.

The cross-sectional study monitored physical activity and cortisol levels in a birth cohort of eight-year-old children. The 252 participants wore accelerometer devices on their wrists to measure physical activity. Saliva samples were taken to measure cortisol levels. To measure reactions to stress, children were assigned arithmetic and story-telling tasks. The study is the first to find a link between physical activity and stress hormone responses in children.

The children were divided into three groups -- most active, intermediate and least active. The most active children's cortisol levels were the least reactive to stressful situations. The most active children exercised more vigorously and for longer periods of time than their counterparts.

"Clearly, there is a link between mental and physical well-being, but the nature of the connection is not well understood," Martikainen said. "These results suggest exercise promotes mental health by regulating the stress hormone response to stressors."

Other researchers working on the study include: A. Pesonen, J. Lahti, K. Heinonen, K. Feldt, R. Pyhälä and K. Räikkönen of the University of Helsinki; T. Tammelin of LIKES Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences; E. Kajantie and J. Eriksson of the National Institute for Health and Welfare; and T. Strandberg of Helsinki University Central Hospital.

The article, "Higher Levels of Physical Activity are Associated with Lower Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenocortical Axis Reactivity to Psychosocial Stress in Children," appears in the April 2013 issue of JCEM.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Silja Martikainen, Anu-Katriina Pesonen, Jari Lahti, Kati Heinonen, Kimmo Feldt, Riikka Pyhälä, Tuija Tammelin, Eero Kajantie, Johan G. Eriksson, Timo E. Strandberg, and Katri Räikkönen. Higher Levels of Physical Activity Are Associated With Lower Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenocortical Axis Reactivity to Psychosocial Stress in Children. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2013; DOI: 10.1210/jc.2012-3745

Cite This Page:

Endocrine Society. "Exercise shields children from stress, research indicates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307091552.htm>.
Endocrine Society. (2013, March 7). Exercise shields children from stress, research indicates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307091552.htm
Endocrine Society. "Exercise shields children from stress, research indicates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307091552.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — A grassroots effort is underway in several US cities to encourage more black women to breastfeed their babies by teaching them the benefits of the age-old practice, which is sometimes shunned in African-American communities. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) — Harvard researchers found that girls who consumed more than 1.5 sugary drinks a day had their first period earlier than those who drank less. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins