NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) - The value and importance of exercise programs for children is known to many, especially those in the medical field.
Researchers at Yale University’s School of Medicine have found that modern-day children exercise far too little.
“[T]he rise in childhood obesity can be primarily tied to two factors: too little exercise and too many calories,” researchers from the school noted on their official website. “Children get less exercise at home because of more time spent with television, video games, and computers.”
The site adds, “They also get less exercise at school because many schools have cut back on physical education classes.”
In addition to contributing to the phenomenon of childhood obesity, though, the lack of exercise opportunities for kids could have another implication – later in life.
According to a new study conducted at Skane University Hospital in Malmo, Sweden, exercise habits in children could be directly related to bone strength in a person as they grow older.
Researchers spent six years following the lives and habits of over 800 girls and boys. When the study started, the children were all between the ages of 7 and 9, according to Time Magazine Health & Family. Of the participating children, some reportedly engaged in 40 minutes of physical activity daily, while a control group only exercised 60 minutes per week.
Researchers found that the children who exercised more frequently experienced fewer bone fractures than other children, with only 72 fractures occurring in that group, in comparison to 143 fractures reported by the less active children involved in the study.
The kids with more frequent exercise patterns also had bones of higher densities.
“[E]xercise interventions in childhood may be associated with lower fracture risks as people age, due to the increases in peak bone mass that occurs in growing children who perform regular physical activity,” lead author Dr. Bjorn Rosengren, of Skane University Hospital, was quoted as saying in a statement obtained by the magazine.
He added, “Our study highlights yet another reason why kids need to get regular daily exercise to improve their health both now and in the future.”
Their findings were said to be reported at Specialty Day, organized by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Time additionally learned.