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Friday, June 30, 2006

Weights on children's toys 'can boost their fitness'

ADDING weights to children's toys may help them improve their fitness during playtime, according to new research in the US.

The study included five boys and five girls, who were an average of seven-and-a-half years old and were randomly assigned to carry either large, cardboard toy blocks that weighed less than a quarter of a pound or blocks that weighed about 3.4 pounds.

The children picked up the blocks and carried them over approximately 26 feet. Days later, the children were assigned to the opposite type of toy block and repeated the activity.

Overall, after an average of ten minutes of carrying weighted blocks, the children experienced greater increases in heart rate, oxygen uptake and energy expenditure than they did after carrying the lighter blocks, findings indicate.

"This study provides one intervention to the current trend of declining fitness in America's youth," Dr John C. Ozmun, of Indiana State University said. "This will not be the answer to childhood obesity, but it could make a positive contribution."



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