It is a known fact that exercise is necessary in order to enhance the cardiovascular health of a person. However, not participating in any kind of physical activity is not necessarily a factor that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A study carried out at Queen’s University has brought to light that the risk to cardiac health varies depending on the kind of sedentary behavior that a person exhibits. The study is focused on young people.
The researcher Valerie Carson, who is a doctoral candidate at Queen’s in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, said that an active child might not necessarily be healthy because the duration of activity is usually short. The way he spends the rest of his time is an important parameter in determining precise condition of cardiac health. In this regard, sedentary behavior is a big health indicator.
The researcher found negligible connection between inactivity and risk of cardiovascular diseases or diabetes in children. In adults however, it is known that spending most of the time in a sedentary manner can significantly increase the risk of developing cardiovascular sicknesses. In children, the trend seemed to be slightly different.
When the character of sedentary behavior was studied, Valerie Carson noted that certain types of behavior made a greater impact on cardiac health of children. The highest risk factor was spending long hours in front of the television. The same increase in risk of cardiovascular disease was not found when computer was considered. The major reason for this difference is the level of sedentary behavior in either case.
When compared to using to using the computer, watching television is a more sedentary activity since the energy expenditure is very low during this time. Furthermore, when a child watches television, there is a higher chance of snacking and most of the times, the snack is a high calorie low nutrition fast food. This also adds to the increased risk of developing cardiac diseases in the future. Computer, on the other hand, keeps the child engaged and hence more active. The level of sedentary behavior is lower and activeness is higher. Also, snacking is removed from the picture.
Researchers have concluded that it is important to regulate the time of television watching. Although a child indulges in physical sports and activities, it is important to see how the child spends the remaining time. Parents are encouraged to make children participate in more physical activities.