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3 Ways Physical Activity Improves Mental Wellness In Children


Want to keep your kids from going at each other this summer? Take them away from the tv, video games, computers, and phones and get them into the great outdoors.


New research has discovered that physical activity may play a key role in helping children cope with stress and help to manage their overall mental wellness, according to a recent study by The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

.Mental Wellness In Children..

The study found sedentary children had surges of cortisol – a hormone linked to stress – when children are exposed to everyday stressors. The most active children had little or no increase in their cortisol levels in similar situations.


.Mental Wellness In Children

“The findings suggest physical activity plays a role in mental health by buffering children from the effects of daily stressors…” said the study’s lead author, Silja Martikainen, MA, of the University of Helsinki, Finland.

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 .Mental Wellness In Children

To conduct the study, children were divided into three groups — most active, intermediate and least active. The most active children’s cortisol levels were the least reactive to stressful situations. The most active children exercised more vigorously and for longer periods of time than their counterparts.

 .Mental Wellness In Children

“Clearly, there is a link between mental and physical well-being, but the nature of the connection is not well understood,” Martikainen said. “These results suggest exercise promotes mental health by regulating the stress hormone response to stressors.”

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The study is the first to find a link between physical activity and stress hormone responses in children.

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.Mental Wellness In Children


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Matt Gibbons

Melisa, thank you for posting this!

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