Children Need 7 Minutes Energetic Exercise To Stay Healthy

Children Healthy Life
Children need seven minutes a day of ‘vigorous’ physical activity to stay healthy, but most are not even getting that, according to new research.

Youngsters spend a staggering 70 per cent of their time in sedentary activities and just 0.6 per cent of their time running around.
“Our research showed children don’t need a lot of intense physical activity to get the health benefits of exercise - seven minutes or more of vigorous physical activity was all that was required.

“But the seven minutes had to be intense to prevent weight gain, obesity and its adverse health consequences. And most kids weren’t getting that.’

The researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, studied more than 600 children, between the ages of nine and 17.

The youngsters wore monitors that tracked their physical activity levels for seven days. These children also had their weight, waist circumference and blood pressure regularly monitored.

The team, whose findings are published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, reviewed the data and found that the children spent almost 70 per cent of their time doing sedentary activities; nearly 23 per cent was devoted to light physical activity; almost seven per cent to moderate physical activity and 0.6 per cent to vigorous physical activity.

The more vigorous the physical activity, the less likely the children were to be overweight, with increased vigorous exercise being linked to higher fitness levels and shrinking waist lines.

The team did not find the expected health benefits from mild or moderate activity even if the time spent doing the type of activity increased - making intense physical activity crucial.

For kids who took part in vigorous physical activity that lasted longer than seven minutes, their health benefits were significantly better. There findings also dispelled the fat but fit myth as they discovered if children were overweight, they were also unhealthy.
‘This research tells us that a brisk walk isn’t good enough,” says Professor Lewanczuk.

“Kids have to get out and do a high-intensity activity in addition to maintaining a background of mild to moderate activity. There’s a strong correlation between obesity, fitness and activity. Activity and fitness is linked to a reduction in obesity and good health outcomes.”

Getting young children to make vigorous physical activity part of their daily routines is important, especially considering that activity levels in the teenage years drop right off, he said. Previous research on the same children showed they are more active at school than home.

He said, “Quite often the activity levels on evenings or weekends would be almost flat. We made the presumption that kids were just sitting in front of a screen the whole time.”
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