Does Your Kid Like TV? Turn Commercials into a Walking Break

A new study from the national Institute of Health shows that when children take quick breaks to walk while watching television, it improves their blood sugar levels. A little walking goes a long way.

The Study

For a long time, studies have shown it can be detrimental to a child's health to sit and watch television for a long period of time. Researchers found that just 3-minute walk breaks per 30 minutes can make a big difference in how their bodies process sugar.

Long periods of uninterrupted sitting increase blood sugar and insulin levels, but short walk breaks help the improve blood sugar levels.

"Sustained sedentary behavior after a meal diminishes the muscles' ability to help clear sugar from the bloodstream," study author Dr. Britni Belcher said. "That forces the body to produce more insulin, which may increase the risk for beta cell dysfunction that can lead to the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Our findings suggest even short activity breaks can help overcome these negative effects, at least in the short term."

What Parents Can Do

When your kids are sitting and watching television, take a commercial break or a break between shows. You might actually inspire even more movement-- and maybe by getting up and getting the blood flowing a little, their attention will turn to other activities so you can turn the set-off.

Photo: Daily Mail