Lowering the high obesity rates with U.S. children is no easy task. This is why many studies aim to find solution for this very pressing matter. Obesity is a very important risk factor in many conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and strokes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that more than 33 percent of the American children are obese.
A new research conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in collaboration with Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Clinical Center proves that short intervals of exercise during a sedentary period can have a positive effect on the child and could prevent the development of harmful diseases.
“Our study indicates that even small activity breaks could have a substantial impact on children’s long-term health,” said a representative of the NIH, Jack A. Yanovski, who is also the study lead author.
Thus, it was proved that kids who engage in at least three minutes of walking at a moderate pace after sitting down for half a hour showed lower levels of insulin and glucose compared to those who sat down for at least three hours without doing exercise.
It is already a known fact that at least half an hour of moderate to intense activity everyday has a positive impact on kids’ health. However, because most of them find it difficult to include longer stretches of exercise in their daily schedule, it is useful to know that even short periods of physical activity can improve their health.
Given the fact that school children spend about six hours every day sitting, it was shownthat this long sedentary period is a major risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes.
The study involved 28 children whose weight was normal. They were split into two groups. The first group had to sit for three hours , while the kids in the second group walked on a treadmill for three minutes every half an hour after sitting down.
After seven days, the roles were reversed. After each trial, the kids underwent a glucose tolerance test and had their blood tested to check how fast the glucose was absorbed and record the level of insulin in their bodies.
It was shown that when they walked, the children had their glucose levels lowered by 7 percent and their insulin levels decreased by 32 percent. Moreover, the fatty acids in their blood were also lower than the ones recorded when they sat for three hours.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
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