Physical activity is important for health and wellness, and this is true even for young children. Three out of four teenagers, according to recent studies, don’t exercise enough.
According to the study, kids who don’t get enough physical activity may be more susceptible to respiratory illnesses.
The study, which was released on January 24 in Pediatric Research, tracked respiratory symptoms and evaluated physical activity in 104 Polish children between the ages of four and seven during 2018 and 2019.
For 40 days, the kids wore an armband that tracked their daily activity and sleep patterns. Additionally, parents recorded any respiratory symptoms in their children, such as coughing or sneezing, using daily questionnaires.
Other polls asked parents about their children’s experiences with immunizations, sports involvement, exposure to pet hair, and smoking.
The team’s analysis of the data revealed that kids who were more active at the start of the research also experienced fewer respiratory infection symptoms over the next six weeks.
For instance, 47 kids who averaged 5,668 steps per day during the first two weeks of the study developed upper respiratory symptoms throughout the course of the next six weeks.
The scientists also discovered that the number of days with respiratory symptoms decreased by an average of 4.1 days for every daily 1000-step increase.
Children who participated in sports for three or more hours a week also appeared to have fewer respiratory infection symptoms than their non-sports-playing counterparts.
The amount of sleep, the number of siblings, vaccines, contact with pet hair, or smoking were also not linked to symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, according to the researchers.
Higher amounts of exercise may lower inflammatory cytokines and enhance immune cell activity, according to the study’s authors. They further propose that exercise might facilitate the release of particular immune modulators from the muscles. To pinpoint the potential immune-modulating mechanisms that exercise supports in children, more research is nonetheless required.
However, they emphasize that due to the observational nature of their research, they are unable to prove whether vigorous physical activity lowers a child’s risk of developing respiratory illnesses.