News ID: 257096
Published: 0759 GMT August 10, 2019

Fidgeting can help protect children against obesity, say researchers

Fidgeting can help protect children against obesity, say researchers
SHUTTERSTOCK

Fidgety children can drive their parents and teachers to distraction. But while their restlessness might irritate the adults, it helps to protect them against obesity, a study suggests.

It found four to six-year-olds unable to sit still burn enough energy to keep off almost half a stone of weight a year, dailymail.co.uk wrote.

Researchers measured the energy expenditure of children in an hour of playing with toys, coloring and watching TV.

The most fidgety moved 53 times — for example, shifting from sitting to standing, or lying to walking — while the least restless changed position only 11 times during the hour.

The most restless burnt 14 percent more calories than the most sedentary, or an extra tenth of a calorie per minute.

For an average child this age, sitting for ten hours a day as studies suggest they do, this would amount to almost 22,000 calories a year, preventing around 6.6lb of weight gain.

The study, led by the University of Strathclyde’s Professor John Reilly, working with Australian researchers, was published in the journal PLOS One.

   
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