Regular activity boosts children’s heart health

21 November 2013        

Boy and girl

Interrupting long periods of sitting down is associated with better heart health in children, according to Canadian researchers.

In a study of over 500 children aged between eight and 11, researchers analysed time spent at the computer, playing video games and watching TV over a seven day period.

The findings show that frequent interruptions to children’s sedentary time could have a positive impact on their health. The number of times children got up, rather than the duration of the break, was found to be the most important factor.

Amy Thompson, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “This study suggests kids can help determine their future heart health by limiting the time they spend sitting.

“We know children in the UK are not getting enough exercise and childhood obesity is at epidemic proportions, so this is a major public health issue. Not only do long periods of inactivity mean children may not get enough exercise, but lots of screen-based activities can often lead to kids eating more.

“Children aged 5 to 12 should aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Things like running, skipping, dancing or riding a bike all count. Encouraging kids to have an active start in life will protect their hearts as they grow up.”

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