Early Bedtime, Early Rising Keeps Teens Fit
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2011 Oct 04
A new study suggests that going to bed early and rising early could be a principal factor in combating obesity and enhancing overall fitness for teens.
Researchers from the University of South Australia gauged the time of going to sleep and waking times of almost more than 2000 individuals in the age-group 9 to 16 years and compared their activity during leisure hours and their weight. As per the results, even if the teens slept for the same amount of time, youngsters who went to bed early and woke up early seemed to be trimmer and fitter than their nocturnal counterparts.
“We found that kids who went to bed late and got up late were 1.5 times more likely to become obese and 2.9 times more likely to be physically inactive. The night owls more often spent their free time playing computer or video games, watching TV or engaged in other sedentary or screen-based activities.While scientists have already made the connection between less sleep and poor health outcomes around obesity and fitness, what is interesting and new here is that the timing of sleep may be an important factor in predicting health in young people,” elaborated Dr. Carol Maher.
The analysts found that young people who regularly went to bed early, apparently woke up earlier than their peers who slept late. They also seemed to be exposed to 27 minutes more physical exertion every day. On the other hand, their owl peers appeared to spend an extra 48 minutes online or other indoor activities than the aforesaid group.