5 minutes of sustained physical activity prevents obesity in kids

March 18th, 2009 - 4:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 18 (ANI): Just five minutes of sustained physical activity can help prevent childhood obesity, according to a study.

Researchers from Queens University in Ontario, Canada, have revealed that several bursts of exercise that last five minutes or more may be better for preventing childhood obesity than are intermittent physical activity sessions lasting four minutes or less throughout the day.

If two children accumulated 60 minutes of daily physical activity, the child who accumulated more activity in bouts is less likely to be obese than the one who accumulated more of their activity in a sporadic manner, said Dr. Ian Janssen, lead study author.

During the study, the researchers looked at 2,500 participants, ranging from 8 to 17 years old. Sixty-six percent of physical activity took place in short sessions lasting less than five minutes.

The researchers found that among those who moved the most throughout the day, 34 percent of the sporadically active were overweight or obese, compared with 25 percent of the bout children.

Dr. Jocelyn Miller, a child psychologist with Dean Health System in Madison, Wis., agreed that longer sessions were better for preventing childhood obesity.

The real benefits of daily physical activity build the longer the activity is sustained. Since videogames first hit the market, many children dont know how to play with toys, do pretend play or build things, she said.

If parents, teachers and policy makers believe kids are getting 60 minutes of continuous physical activity in a one-hour physical education class or activities like basketball practice, they are way off base. Children are often inactive during these periods, said Janssen.

Dr. James Sallis, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, said: According to the energy balance model, all energy expenditure should help reduce risk of obesity. I encourage all forms of physical activity, even sporadic activity, which is natural to children.(ANI)

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