Being an 'active couch potato' just as bad as being inactive: expert
What you are doing the rest of the day is more important than a short span of vigorous activity
Active kids are seen as healthy, but if they are sitting around and watching TV for the rest of the day, they may not be as healthy as we think.
That's according to Katya Herman, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina.
"High levels of sedentary behaviour in active children may counteract some of the health benefits of that physical activity," Herman said.
"If you get your 30 minutes per day [as an adult], as a child 60 minutes a day, you're active," she said. "But what are you doing for the other 23 hours per day?"
She calls kids who play outside but sit around the rest of the day "active couch-potatoes" and the consequences of that are not good.
In her research, Herman found the child that was inactive but not sedentary the rest of the time shared the same risk of obesity as kids who were active for short periods of time and sedentary the rest of the time.
Herman said the key is to remain active throughout the day and not just in spurts.
"Yes, you need that vigorous activity. If you go back to our generation, we were just out puttering about. We weren't necessarily getting our heart rates up, but we weren't sitting on our butts."
With files from CBC Radio's The Morning Edition