Out of their seats

If we’re serious about fighting childhood obesity (and thus, obesity), it seems to me the best place to start would be decreasing the amount of sitting kids are required to do every day.  Of course we also need to make more nutritional food available to more kids, but that will take a lot more than letting them get up out of their seats.  Kids already want to be moving more, so we won’t likely be met with much resistance.

A recent University of Buffalo study offered another reason to infuse the young day with motion: reduced  stress reactivity, which from the sound of it not only offers an immediate benefit to the body but can also help reduce the chance of developing heart disease.  “The perception of a stressor as a threat is the beginning of the stress reactivity process, so if you can dampen that initial perception, then you reduce the magnitude of the fight-or-flight response,” says James Roemmich, the senior investigator on the study.

Apparently sending the body into fight-or-flight, which the world is fairly adept at doing, is not so good for it.  We’re not likely to eliminate the stressors any time soon, so we’ll do well to reduce their ill effects to the extent we can.  And if one thing we can do is let kids move around more, which they already want to, that seems like a good place to start.