According to a study involving children between the ages of 8 and 11 as published in PLOS ONE, breaks in sedentary time are associated with reduced global health risks among children.
Children in Canada spend more than half their waking hours watching television, playing video games, or just sitting around.
“We already know that sitting too much is bad for kids,” says Travis Saunders, 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 evaluated risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in children with a family history of obesity. They also analyzed data taken from an existing QUALITY cohort study that included over 500 children living in Quebec. The involved researchers measured global health risk indicators, including waist circumference, body mass index, fasting insulin, fasting glucose, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, and C-reactive proteins.
“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.”
It was suggested by the study that regular interruptions in children’s sedentary time can have a positive impact on their health.