Kids and daily exercise

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: October 13th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Kids need to exercise more than just their video game trigger fingers.

And according to a new report, getting more than the recommended amount of daily exercise is good for kids, whether it’s by batting a ball or running the bases.

The report, published in the Lancet, notes that the government-suggested daily allowance for exercise might not be enough to keep kids fit and healthy.

Kids may need ninety minutes of physical activity a day to ward off heart disease… thirty minutes more than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests.

Norwegian researchers studied the activity levels of a group of nine-year-olds and a group of fifteen-year-olds. They gave each child a device that tracks physical activity. The kids wore the monitors on their hips for two weekdays and two weekend days.

For both age categories, the more active children were those who walked the equivalent of nearly two-and-a-half miles per hour. The nine-year-olds were active for about two hours per day and the fifteen-year-olds got about one-and-a-half hours of physical activity a day.

The study found that children who were less physically active were two to three times more likely to have heart disease risk factors such as higher blood pressure, poor cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and insulin resistance. And children who were heavier showed equal benefit from being active.

Best of all, researchers say kids’ physical activity need not be strenuous. Walking and playing will do.