Published July 16, 2012
A new study has found the amount of hours children spend watching television could have an impact on their waistline and physical fitness, BBC News reported.
Published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the study tracked the habits of 1,314 children at 2.5 years of age and 4.5 years of age. The research ultimately found that every extra hour of TV watched per week translated to an added half a millimeter on children’s waistlines.
At the beginning of the study, children watched about 8.8 hours of television a week on average. This number increased by six hours over the following two years – equating to 14.8 hours watched per week at 4.5 years old.
Of the children studied, 15 percent were watching over 18 hours each week. According to the research, 4.5-year-old children who consume over 18 hours of television a week could see an extra 7.6 millimeters on their waistline by the age of 10.
The study also examined the children’s muscular fitness by testing their ability to carry out a standing long jump test, BBC News said. Results showed that an extra hour of TV each week could decrease the distance each child was able to jump by 3.6 millimeters.