Exercise Still the Best for Children’s Health

A recent study on 536 white children ages 8 to 10 years old answered the question, “Which is better for kids, to exercise or just sit around less?” Results showed that those kids, although with at lease one obese parent, who had higher levels of physical activity had¬†lower waist circumference, fasting triglycerides, and diastolic blood pressure. This means that exercise is the answer to heart health and overall well-being even in youngsters.

The study also indicated the following:
  • Overall, 44% of the children were overweight or obese.
  • When calculated as a mean for the entire sample, only 25% of the children met the recommendation for getting at least 60 minutes of exercise a day vigorous enough to get the heart rate going.
  • However, the proportion that accumulated at least 60 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 6 days a week — the current guideline for children and youth in Canada — was substantially lower, at approximately 5%.
  • Based on self-reported data, 40% of the kids met the guideline for screen-time use of no more than 2 hours a day. Screen time represented 55% of total sedentary time in this sample of children.