The simple act of regularly interrupting sedentary time by standing up could have beneficial health effects for children, according to a study published last month in the open-access online journal PLOS One.
Researchers analyzed data from 522 Canadian children between the ages of 8 and 11 (286 boys and 236 girls). All had at least one biological parent with a body mass index of 30 or greater. Each child used an accelerometer for seven days to track how much time he or she spent engaging in various levels of physical activity. The children self-reported time devoted to watching television and playing video games or using a computer.
The researchers discovered that children who frequently take breaks from sedentary time—even just by standing up every five minutes or so—could have lower levels of cardiometabolic risk than those who endure longer bouts of inactivity.
A version of this article appeared in the December 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as Student Health