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Frequent breaks from sedentary behavior makes kids healthier

Date:
November 20, 2013
Source:
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Summary:
This study suggests that frequent interruptions in children's sedentary time -- or the number of times children got up, rather than the duration of the break -- can have a positive impact on reducing global health risks.

"For the first time, we have evidence that simply getting up more frequently is associated with better health in this age group," states Travis Saunders, PhD.
Credit: © Picture-Factory / Fotolia

Canadian kids spend more than half their waking hours engaged in sedentary behavior -- watching television, playing video games or just sitting around. Studies involving adult populations suggest that breaks in sedentary time are associated with reduced global health risks. Today these findings have been replicated in a study involving children between the ages of 8 and 11 as published in PLOS ONE.

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"We already know that sitting too much is bad for kids," says Travis Saunders, who earned his PhD at the University of Ottawa and is a researcher at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute. "But now, for the first time, we have evidence that simply getting up more frequently is associated with better health in this age group."

Researchers looked at risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in children with a family history of obesity. They analyzed data taken from an existing QUALITY cohort study that included over 500 children living in Quebec. Using an accelerometer to gather data, the researchers studied all breaks in sedentary behavior for these kids during a one week period.

Global health risk indicators were measured, including waist circumference, body mass index, fasting insulin, fasting glucose, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol and C-reactive proteins. Time spent at the computer and playing video games as well as television viewing during the 7-day period was self-reported.

"Increased screen time poses a persistent health risk for kids as a rule," continued Saunders. "But what's also interesting in this study is that video-gaming was associated with higher risk scores for boys whereas television viewing was linked to higher risk scores for girls."

This study suggests that frequent interruptions in children's sedentary time -- or the number of times children got up, rather than the duration of the break -- can have a positive impact on their health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Travis John Saunders, Mark Stephen Tremblay, Marie-Θve Mathieu, Mιlanie Henderson, Jennifer O’Loughlin, Angelo Tremblay, Jean-Philippe Chaput. Associations of Sedentary Behavior, Sedentary Bouts and Breaks in Sedentary Time with Cardiometabolic Risk in Children with a Family History of Obesity. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (11): e79143 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079143

Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. "Frequent breaks from sedentary behavior makes kids healthier." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120192444.htm>.
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. (2013, November 20). Frequent breaks from sedentary behavior makes kids healthier. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120192444.htm
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. "Frequent breaks from sedentary behavior makes kids healthier." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120192444.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

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