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Thursday October 06, 2022

Too hot to play? Physiologist says climate change causing physical inactvity among kids

Physiologist quoted multiple studies that found overweight kids to be likelier to have difficulty regulating body temperature when exercising outdoors

By Web Desk
August 15, 2022
Children and teens take off from the starting line for the annual run/walk for patients and their friends and families at The Childrens Hospital in Aurora, Colorado June 5, 2010. — Reuters
Children and teens take off from the starting line for the annual run/walk for patients and their friends and families at The Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colorado June 5, 2010. — Reuters

Studies have shown that children today are not as fit as their parents were at the same age and one researcher thinks it could be due to climate change.

Experts say that more physical activity leads to healthy regulation of body temperature and tolerance to higher temperatures. Obesity and physical inactivity make children struggle with regular body temperature leading to further physical inactivity.

In her study, environmental physiologist Dr Shawnda Morrison says unfit children are at a higher risk of facing heat-related problems like heat stroke and dehydration.

 Dr Morrison’s study was published in the journal Temperature, where she said fewer children were doing 60 minutes of exercise a day — which is a WHO recommendation.

She said that children's health was not being prioritised in discussions over climate change.

The physiologist quoted multiple studies that found overweight kids to be likelier to have difficulty regulating body temperature when exercising outdoors.

COVID-19 also took children away from physical activity.

Dr Morrison said she was afraid rising heat would make matters worse with parents telling their children it was "too hot to play".

Some estimates show that more heat will cause more viral outbreaks which could further children's health.

"As the world warms, children are the least fit they have ever been."

The author recommended that children be encouraged to do daily exercise and remain fit.