Magazine article Work & Family Life

Children Need to Get Up and Get Moving

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Children Need to Get Up and Get Moving

Article excerpt

These days kids do a whole lot of sitting. One large-scale study found that children across the globe sat for about 8.5 hours every day. Other studies have reported that their activity levels dropped sharply after the age of 8 and continued to fall through their teen years.

We know that inactivity and long hours of sitting increase the risk of health problems in adults. Now researchers at the University of British Columbia suggest the same is true for sedentary kids.

Their study, published in Experimental Physiology, found that after a single session of prolonged inactivity, a group of healthy girls from ages 9 to 12 developed changes in blood flow and arteries that, among grown-ups, would signal the start of cardiovascular problems.

For the purpose of the study, half of the girls sat in comfortable beanbag chairs in a lab for three uninterrupted hours, playing on iPads and watching movies. If they needed to use the bathroom, they were wheeled there by a researcher.

The other half also sat for three hours. But before sitting on the beanbags, they rode stationary bicycles for 10 minutes at the start of each hour.

A few days later the girls repeated the experiment, but this time they switched places. …

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