Doing at least some physical activity is vital to protect children's heart health, new research suggests.
Regardless of the time they spend doing sedentary activities, the key point is to participate in physical activities of at least moderate intensity, according to a Canadian study set to be published in the latest issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism .
However, while overall time spent in such activities appears to be the important factor, lead author Dr Jean-Philippe Chaput of the University of Ottawa said public health should remain focused on both promoting more physical activity and cutting back on sedentary time spent in front of a screen.
The research indicates that screen time in particular is worse than overall sedentary time in terms of its effects on childhood cardiometabolic health.
Smaller waists as well as positive effects on cholesterol and blood pressure were noted by the researchers in association with higher levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
The study was carried out by a team of researchers known as Team Prodigy, comprising scientists from the University of Ottawa, University of Montreal, McGill University, Laval University, and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute.
Copyright Press Association 2013