Television’s Affect On Your Child’s Body Fat!
A new study shows that with children, time spent inactive doesn’t affect body fat as much as regular exercise.
The study, which appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that the longer participants spent doing moderate exercise, the less body fat they had. Contrary to popular belief, time spent sedentary, such as sitting on the couch watching TV, did not affect their percentage of body fat.
A study involving adults last year found completely the opposite result: that regular exercise does not necessarily negate the effects of a generally inactive lifestyle. Researchers think this is because children are typically more active than adults.
Researchers followed 277 boys and 277 girls for the study. Each child was measured for fat content three separate times over the span of the study, and wore accelerometers to measure body movement for several days each year.
Both boys and girls who spent the same amount of time doing moderate physical activity every day had the same body mass, regardless of how much time they spent lying around. The results were the same for every age group.
“Parents should encourage their children to be physically active, the more the better,” said Ulf Ekelund of the Norwegian School of Sport Science in Oslo. “That might sound simple, but the execution isn't so simple sometimes.”
When I was a kid, my sisters and I loved playing outside just as much as we loved playing video games. My parents were always fine with both, as long as we balanced our time playing actively outside with our time lying around inside. I think these findings will take a lot of stress off parents trying to find a balance between keeping their kids healthy, and accommodating their wide variety of interests.