Navigation Links
Any Exercise Benefits Kids' Heart Health: Study

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Even if kids spend the rest of their time sitting around, an hour of any physical activity a day will benefit their heart health, English researchers report.

Their study found that children and teens who got more moderate to vigorous physical exercise daily than their peers had better cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight, which are important for long-term health.

"Parents, schools and institutions should facilitate and promote physical activity of at least moderate intensity in all children and be less concerned about the total amount of time spent sedentary, at least in relation to these cardiovascular risk factors," said study author Ulf Ekelund, group leader of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Program at the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, England.

"We demonstrated that higher levels of physical activity of at least moderate intensity -- equal to brisk walking -- are associated with [improving] many cardiovascular disease risk factors, regardless of the amount of time these children spent sedentary," he said.

For example, those children who belonged to the most active group had a smaller waist than those in the least active group, he said.

"In adults, this difference is associated with an about 15 percent increased relative risk of premature death," Ekelund said.

The type of activity is not important as long as the intensity is at least equal to brisk walking, Ekelund said. Possibilities include outdoor play, bicycling, dancing, aerobics, walking and playing team sports.

However, the positive benefits of exercise don't necessarily counteract the harmful effects of a couch-potato lifestyle, he said. "There may be specific sedentary behaviors, such as TV viewing, that impose health risks as TV viewing is linked to other unhealthy behaviors [such as snacking]. Therefore, limiting TV time is still important for children's health and well-being," Ekelund said.

The report was published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For the study, the researchers pooled information from 14 studies involving more than 20,000 children, aged 4 to 18, obtained from an international children's database. A motion sensor measured total activity and time spent sedentary and in moderate and vigorous intensity activity. The actual activities they engaged in were not recorded.

Overall, three-quarters of the children were of normal weight, 18 percent were overweight and 7 percent were obese. They spent an average of 30 minutes per day in some form of moderate to vigorous exercise and 354 minutes a day -- or nearly six hours -- sedentary.

Boys and girls who exercised more than 35 minutes a day had lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, lower triglycerides and were thinner than children who exercised less than 18 minutes a day, Ekelund's group noted.

Average waist size differed by more than two inches between the most active and least active children and teens. And those with the largest waist size at the study's start were the least active at two years' follow-up.

Samantha Heller, an exercise physiologist and clinical nutrition coordinator of the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., said that "there is absolutely no reason for our children to be fat, sedentary and at risk for cardiovascular disease."

"Exercise, in whatever form it takes, is fantastic for children and teens -- and adults," she said.

Even children who are not cut out for competitive sports, have the innate need to be physically active, Heller said.

"Parents and caregivers need to limit tech time -- computers, iPads, texting, TV -- and let kids be kids, running around playing," she said.

Grown-ups must get involved too, Heller said. "They can jump rope, play tag and throw the Frisbee with the children. Kids will do better in school, develop social skills, enhance coordination, [and] be happier and healthier for it."

More information

For more on kids and exercise, visit the Nemours Foundation.

SOURCES: Ulf Ekelund, Ph.D., Group Leader, Physical Activity Epidemiology Program, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge, U.K.; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., dietitian, nutritionist, exercise physiologist and clinical nutrition coordinator, Center for Cancer Care, Griffin Hospital, Derby, Conn.; Feb. 15, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. More U.S. Doctors Are Urging Patients to Exercise: CDC
2. Intermittent exercise improves blood glucose control for diabetics
3. Vigorous exercise linked to gene activity in prostate
4. Science Shows How Exercise Might Help in Prostate Cancer
5. Exercise a Good Pick-Me-Up After Cancer Treatment: Study
6. Health benefits of exercise may depend on cellular degradation, UT Southwestern researchers report
7. UGA College of Education finds exercise reduces anxiety symptoms in women
8. Need to Exercise More? Think How It Will Help You Now
9. Mouse Study Give Clues to Why Exercise Is Healthy
10. Exercise May Help Those at Higher Risk for Alzheimers: Study
11. Safety Tips for Cold-Weather Exercise
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Any Exercise Benefits Kids' Heart Health: Study
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I ... Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to ... The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care ... disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... philanthropic seniors, is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a ... have launched a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Since its launch in 2012, ... adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic degenerative medical conditions. Now, the ... Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to hold a registered trademark in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software ... software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically ... notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to ... Dignity Health St. Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli ... breast imaging capabilities in San Francisco ... an anonymous friend, stepped forward with a gift of ... for Breast Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015  Array ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer ... Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public is ... webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual ... , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... HOUSTON, TX and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... EPI; NASDAQ: EPIX ) announced today that the ... clinical study of EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic ... States and Canada.  --> ... --> In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: