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Exercise as it relates to Disease/Sport participation and overall health in children

What is the background to this research?Edit

The study was aimed at finding out if the children that were selected for the study, met the international guidelines of >60 min per day of mod-vigorous physical activity. Moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (PA), moderate physical activity is defined as "Activity that increases breathing,sweating or heart rate" Vigorous intensity being defined as "Substantial increase in breathing,sweating and heart rate"[2].

The research was conducted in Denmark, with a sample group of 1124 children, The authors of the study have a background in research and have numerous published papers.

The study had numerous groups fund the study but the author has declared no competing interests as the funders had no role in the study or in the interpretation of results.

Where is the research from?Edit

The research if from Denmark in primary school aged children, it was conducted by Jeffrey J. Hebert , Niels C. Møller, Lars B. Andersen, Niels Wedderkopp and is published in the Public Library of Science

What kind of research was this?Edit

The study is a quasi-experimental trial, it follows 1124 primary ages school children and looked at the association between PA and sport participation. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of increased PA performed by primary school students.

In the paper the authors examines difference in physical activity between children not participating in sport and those participating in specific organized sports, focusing on sport type and number of sport sessions per week. It was conducted using accelerometer that were custom fit to the children's right hip [3].

What did the research involve?Edit

The research examined children from 10 schools within Denmark, 53% of the participants were female the participants provided information through accelerometry information as well as text messages in which the parents were asked a number of questions as seen in Table 1.

Table 1: Information CollectedEdit

Questionnaire Information Collected
How many times did (name of child) participate in organized sport in the last week ? 0-8 times per week
Sport Type (prevalent sports) Soccer,handball,basketball,gymnastics and volley ball
Sports Participation Yes or No
Accelerometry data
Per minute
Per minute in different intensities

What were the basic results?Edit

The basic results of the study were, boys in general spent more time doing moderate intensity physical activity than the females in the study, the higher the grade level of the individual the lower in general the level of PA was. So boys in the study were more likely to reach the guidelines for PA than girls and as grades increased there was less PA in general between both sexes [4].

It was found that playing soccer in general children spent 3 - 36 minutes less in sedentary time and 5 - 20 minutes more time engaging in Moderate to Vigorous PA per day, this also relates to the frequency of training sessions in a week. Handball was associated with 20 minutes less sedentary time spent and 6 - 13 minutes more moderate to vigorous PA per day[5].

this means children involved in soccer had 3 to 15 time increased odds of achieving at least 60 minutes of PA per day, where as if a child was involved with handball they would have to participate in training or playing 3 or more times per week to have an increased of 11 times more likely to participate in 60 minutes of PA in a day[6].

There was not enough evidence to show any links between other sports and less sedentary time or more PA.

The main limitations in this study were that being unable to record some movements with the equipment such as cycling and swimming, meaning that not all PA could be measured and some of the results could be false positives. Because different sport types involved different intensities and length of time simply reporting how many times per week was not enough information as some sessions could go for 15 minutes and some hours long.

What conclusions can we take from this research?Edit

Taking all these results into account we can see that, when children are involved in organized sport they have an increased chance of achieving the guidelines for PA by 3 - 15 time compared to children that do not participate in organized sport, showing this may be an effective strategy for increasing PA levels in children of all ages and sexes. It is also shown with increased PA levels there are lower risks of obesity and being overweight, it is important to acknowledge that having a high level of physical activity is only one part of having overall health. [7]..

It is important to educate children on the benefits of PA as well as the importance of living a healthy lifestyle in the early stages of life.

Practical adviceEdit

It is important that children hit the needed PA guidelines, one of the ways to make this easier is through sports as seen in the study. It seems practical that getting children involved in sport from a young age has a positive affect on their health. using this as a stepping stone to teach children the importance of PA and its association with overall health.

Children should be both encouraged to be involved in PA and involved with team sports mainly soccer and hand ball, but anything that increased PA and decreases sedentary time is generally great, making sure that there is a maintained long term involvement in sport or PA in general is shown to decreases the likely hood of childhood obesity [8].

Childhood obesity has become a huge problem all over the world, but as said previously the problem can be reduced by providing education to children about PA [9], getting children involved in organized PA and educating them about a healthy diet. This is extremely important so that children will adopt these healthy lifestyle factors and have a healthy life[10].

Further readingEdit

For further information on PA and its affect on children health.

Childhood Obesity: A Global Public Health Crisis


Changes in PA overtime in young children

ReferencesEdit

Hebert, J., Møller, N., Andersen, L. and Wedderkopp, N. (2015). Organized Sport Participation Is Associated with Higher Levels of Overall Health-Related Physical Activity in Children (CHAMPS Study-DK). PLOS ONE, [online] 10(8), p.e0134621. Available at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0134621 [Accessed 23 Aug. 2017].

Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents. (2015). [ebook] American College of Sports Medicine, pp.1-2. Available at: https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/brochures/physical-activity-in-children-and-adolescents.pdf [Accessed 23 Aug. 2017].

Sigmund E, Sigmundová D, Ansari W. Changes in physical activity in pre-schoolers and first-grade children: longitudinal study in the Czech Republic. Child: Care, Health and Development. 2009;35(3):376-382.

Gonzalez-Suarez, C., Worley, A., Grimmer-Somers, K. and Dones, V. (2009). School-Based Interventions on Childhood Obesity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37(5), pp.418-427.

  1. (Hebert et al., 2015)
  2. (Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents, 2015)
  3. (Hebert et al., 2015)
  4. (Hebert et al., 2015)
  5. (Hebert et al., 2015)
  6. (Hebert et al., 2015)
  7. (Sigmund, Sigmundová and Ansari, 2009)
  8. (Gonzalez-Suarez et al., 2009)
  9. (Karmik and Kanekar, 2012)
  10. (Karmik and Kanekar, 2012)