Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Healthier kids just the click of a remote away

Looking for a simple way to increase your child's physical activity level? Try turning off the television, says University of Toronto research.

"Because television is so commonplace in our society, we don't realize how much of an impact it has on youth," says co-author Professor Ken Allison of the department of public health sciences and principal investigator in the physical activity research program. "We need to be reminded that it is crucial to turn them off in order to establish healthy and active patterns in childhood and adolescence that will remain with individuals into adulthood."

Television viewing has been long-suspected of whittling away valuable exercise time and U of T researchers have now shown a direct link between the tube and inactivity. In a recent study reported in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers tracked the weekly time spent on sedentary activities such as computer usage, video game playing and television viewing and then measured physical inactivity through daily energy expenditures assessed using a questionnaire. The researchers found a statistically significant link between TV viewing and lack of exercise; the more television children watch, the less energy they expend on physical activity.

The study was based on a sample of 7982 Canadian adolescents, ages 12 to19, from the 2000-2001 Canadian Community Health Survey, conducted by Statistics Canada. The survey revealed an alarmingly large portion of Canadian youth were inactive – 50.3 per cent of males and 67.8 per cent of females. Inactivity was defined as energy expenditure less than three kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per day, which is equivalent to approximately 60 minutes of brisk walking.

After controlling for sociodemographic variables, health status and body mass index, television viewing was significantly associated with inactivity for both males and females. For males this relationship was significant for those watching 20 or more hours of TV per week, while for females the relationship was significant with as little as 6 or more hours of TV viewing per week..

"We know that females report greater barriers to physical activity than males, so it may be that they feel they have less latitude in their discretionary time than males," says Allison. For example, he says that female adolescents attach more importance to a lack of time due to schoolwork, other interests, and family activities than males. Also females tend to have more family responsibilities than males, such as helping around the house and child care for young siblings.

While Allison admits breaking the television watching habit might be difficult for many adolescents, he offers some tips for parents looking to increase their kids' physical activity:

- Provide a positive role model for your kids by limiting your own TV viewing time.

- Plan television watching schedule and allow them to pick their favourite shows.

- Limit the use of snack foods while watching TV to once a week.

Allison concludes, "All kids, including my own, like to watch TV. The key here is to control the amount of TV viewing per week. This is crucial in order to promote physical activity and healthy weights among our greatest asset – our children."

Karen Kelly | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>