Healthier Kids Just The Click Of A Remote Away
Child Health and TV
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