Regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, rather than less sedentary behavior, impacts children’s health

Stimulating  moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is more important for improving children’s cardiometabolic health than reducing their sedentary behavior.. APH researchers Mai Chin A Paw and Teatske Altenburg (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc department of Public and Occupational health) concluded this based on a study published in the International Journal of Obesity.For this study the researchers analyzed health effects of MVPA and sedentary behavior in more than 450 Danish primary schoolchildren.

The children were followed for one year and wore an accelerometer twice during one week. They accumulated an average of 60 minutes MVPA and 7 hours sedentary behavior per day. . Cardiometabolic health indicators were assessed after one year follow-up and included waist circumference, blood pressure and blood lipids, glucose and insulin  levels.

Higher mean levels of MVPA were significantly associated with a lower waist circumference, triglycerides, insulin resistance, and TC:HDLC ratio. Associations with sedentary time were much smaller and inconsistentMai Chin A Paw: "The beneficial health effects of regular participation in MVPA  was confirmed in our study. In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the potentially adverse health effects of sedentary behavior. We didn’t find evidence confirming this assumption.”

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