Much in the way that adults encounter issues through sedentary lifestyles, children may also be suffering consequences when it comes to their health.
A study recently published in Experimental Physiology examined the effects of prolonged sitting (three continuous hours) on girls ages 9 to 12.One group was asked to sit still, either watching a movie or playing video games for three hours, while another group exercised lightly at the beginning of each hour before sitting again.
At the end of the experiment, researchers found the group that sat still for the entire three hours experienced a major decrease in vascular function. that 33 percent decrease in function means the leg arteries were no longer working as well as they should. In adults, this very thing—over time—has been linked to increased risk of developing heart disease.
It’s not all bad news, though—researchers also found that the girl’s arteries recovered and that the group who was slightly active each hour showed no ill effects in terms of vascular function.
This short term study is far from a complete assessment, but it seems to suggest that moving regularly is as important for kids as it is for adults.