Take walking breaks while watching TV to stay healthy

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Take walking breaks while watching TV to stay healthy

Taking three-minute breaks to walk while watching a television programme or other sedentary activity, can improve the ability of children to maintain blood sugar levels compared to continuously sitting, according to a new study . A sedentary lifestyle can put children at risk of developing paediatric obesity and metabolic health problems, such as diabetes.
“Interrupting a long period of sitting with a few minutes of moderate activity can have short-term benefits on a child’s metabolism,” said the study’s senior author Jack Yanovski from Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), US National Institutes of Health.
“While we know getting 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity exercise each day improves children’s health and metabolism, small behavioral changes like taking short walking breaks can also yield some benefits,“ Yanovski noted.
The study examined sedentary behavior and metabolism in 28 normal-weight children who were between seven and 11 years old. On two different days, the children either sat continuously for three hours or took three-minute breaks to walk on a treadmill every half hour during that period. The study participants had their blood sugar and insulin levels tested before and after the experiment. When children took breaks to walk, their blood sugar and insulin levels were lower than when they sat continuously. The findings indicate the children’s bodies were better able to maintain blood sugar levels when their sitting was interrupted.
“Sustained sedentary behavior after a meal diminishes the muscles’ ability to help clear sugar from the bloodstream. That forces the body to produce more insulin, which may increase the risk for beta cell dysfunction that can lead to the onset of Type 2 diabetes.Our findings suggest even short activity breaks can help overcome these negative effects, at least in the short term,” first author Britni Belcher from US National Cancer Institute explained. (AGENCIES)