Inactivity in Childhood May Lead to Health Problems Later
There have been pushes across the board for the last few years, to encourage kids to get off the couch and get active. As childhood obesity rates continue to skyrocket, it is important to teach children about how to take care of their bodies – not just for their health now, but also their future health. This can be difficult to explain to kids, who do not always think long-term. But a new study may give parents even more reason to entice their kids off of the couch.
It turns out that children who are chronically inactive may be more like to be unhealthy and active when they reach adulthood.
The study, conducted by the University College London, tracked health rates and television rates of about 6,000 British people born over the course of one week in 1970. The participants were quizzed on their activity levels and time spent watching television at age 10 and again at age 42. Researchers found that the participants who reported watching a lot of TV at age 10 were 42 percent more likely to spend over three hours watching per day in adulthood compared to those who reported watching little TV in childhood. Additionally, the 42-year-olds who watched the most television were also more likely to be in fair or poor health and rate themselves as overweight or obese.
The researchers conclude that healthy habits need to start in childhood and that parents need to play a more active role in engaging their kids in active lifestyles. If you sit on the couch on your phone, your children may model that behavior. In addition, parents who tend to work longer hours statistically have children who watch more television. If you work late, try enrolling your kids in an after-school sport of club. This will help them burn off energy, gain a new skill and prepare them for a healthy future.