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Head of parenting section (baby, pregnancy, family)
According to a study on Polish children aged 4 to 7, physical activity would help prevent upper respiratory infections (nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, otitis and angina represent otolaryngological (ENT) infections).
Conducted on a hundred children aged 4 to 7 years, a study published in the specialized journal Pediatric Research aimed to determine the association between the level of physical activity and upper respiratory infections in preschool children. Find out what the scientific team discovered.
At least 3 hours of physical activity to be less sick
The study followed 104 Polish children aged 4 to 7 for around 60 days. The children wore for 40 days, 24 hours a day, a pedometer to analyze their daily physical activity. The researchers also measured their sleep and took into account children’s vaccinations, the presence of siblings in the household, exposure to tobacco and animal hair. The scientists were thus able to observe that the more the children had a significant physical activity, the less they showed symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Thus, of the 104 children, 47 of them accumulated approximately 9,000 steps during the first two weeks of analysis, these children had 724 days of symptoms ofENT infections during the 6 weeks of analysis. Over the same period, 47 children took 5,668 steps on average, they presented 947 days of symptoms. According to the scientists, this result could be explained by the reduction in the levels of cytokines (a protein associated with inflammation) which is correlated with a high level of physical activity. In turn, this promotes a better immune response of the body against the many viruses responsible for ENT infections. The researchers point out, however, that this study is only observational and that further research will have to be carried out to reinforce these initial results.
Sport, many benefits for children
If the practice of a physical activity has long been put forward for its health benefits, in children it is as many benefits on their physical and mental health. Thus, the sport allows the youngest to strengthen the skeleton and the heart. Regular physical activity helps develop balance, coordination, speed and flexibility. On the mental well-being side, sport allows you to become familiar with the taste for effort, but also socialization with other children, whether at school or outside through an extra-curricular activity. We therefore do not hesitate to have our children do physical activity, even in winter.