Kids and exercise: 7 minutes a day keeps the doctor away

Seven minutes doesn't sound like a long time.

But contrary to what most doctors have conventionally believed, just a few minutes of daily physical activity may be all it takes to keep kids healthy.

The scary part? Most children aren't even getting that.

Go vigorous or go home

Research at the University of Alberta--funded in part by the Canadian Diabetes Association--found that just seven minutes a day is all it takes for children to significantly improve their health and reduce their risk for dangerous conditions like obesity and diabetes. The key, however, is that this physical activity must be vigorous.

After reviewing data on more than 600 children, researchers found that kids spend about 70 percent of their time sitting down, 23 percent engaged in "light" activity, 7 percent doing moderate physical activity and--here's the kicker--only 0.6 percent of their time doing vigorous physical activity. The study also found that boys were slightly more active than girls and that weekends were the time when children were least active.

Intensity is key

Richard Lewanczuk, a researcher with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, says that kids may not need a lot of physical activity, but the intensity of it certainly matters:

"This research tells us that a brisk walk isn't good enough. Kids have to get out and do a high-intensity activity in addition to maintaining a background of mild to moderate activity. There's a strong correlation between obesity, fitness and activity. Activity and fitness is linked to a reduction in obesity and good health outcomes."

Surprisingly enough, the researchers didn't see health benefits happen when kids upped their levels of moderate activity--even when this activity was consistent. They also found there was no data to back up the theory that children can be overweight and fit--a notion that can sometimes hold true for adults.

Lewanczuk hopes the findings of the study can help schools and daycare programs develop better guidelines for physical education and implement more mandatory physical activity.

Source: Science Daily

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Two kinds of edema are associated with diabetes: peripheral edema and diabetic macular edema. Peripheral edema is swelling in your lower legs,...

It is important for people with type 2 diabetes to follow a carefully recommended diet plan. The U.S....

With diabetes, your blood sugar levels...

Diabetes can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to foot sores and infections. Nerve damage can cause a loss of feeling in...

It is common knowledge that people with (or without) diabetes should exercise regularly. But why is exercise so important if diet appears to be...

Many diabetics are told by their doctors to completely eliminate bread from their diet. While store-bought white bread is one of the worst foods a...

So you paid a visit to the doctor’s office, and now the word “diabetes” has joined your regular vocabulary.

You’re bound...

Poor sleep can worsen diabetes symptoms, but burning enough calories may not be the only factor to consider when it comes to how exercise...

Having diabetes can present many different challenges including what to do about drinking...

Potassium is a vital part of our everyday diet. Foods high in potassium include bananas, avocados, yogurt, beans, and fish. Like all nutrients,...

Tinnitus is a common condition affecting around 50 million adults in the U.S. It's defined as a "ringing in the ears" that can lead to difficulty...

The so-called "diabetic diet" is not a diet at all. In fact, there are several methods that can be used to create healthful meals that meet the...

Fainting, also called syncope, results from a temporary insufficiency in the supply of blood to the brain. Syncope can be the result of many...

People who have either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes can...

Diabetic test strips are one of the biggest expenses in diabetes care. People who are on a fixed income need to watch every penny that they spend...