Exercise helps protect children from stress: study

Chevy Chase, MD – Physical activity may help children manage stressful situations, finds a new study from the University of Helsinki in Finland.

Researchers studied 252 8-year-olds who wore an accelerometer to measure their physical activity, according to the study abstract. Stressful situations were induced by assigning arithmetic and story-telling tasks, and saliva samples were used to measure the level of cortisol, which is a hormone linked to stress, according to a press release from the Endocrine Society, which published the study.

Children who were the most active had the least change in cortisol levels when stress occurred, leading researchers to conclude that exercise helps regulate cortisol’s response to stressful situations.

The study was published online March 7 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)