Lifestyle habits linked to pain conditions already in childhood

Poor physical fitness and sedentary behaviour are linked to increased pain conditions in children as young as 6–8 years old, according to the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study ongoing at the University of Eastern Finland. The findings were published in the Journal of Pain .

The study analysed the association of physical fitness, exercise, physically passive hobbies and body fat content with various pain conditions in 439 children. Out of individual pain conditions, physically unfit children suffered from headaches more frequently than others. High amounts of screen time and other sedentary behaviour were also associated with increased prevalence of pain conditions.

Pain experienced in childhood and adolescence often persists later in life. This is why it is important to prevent chronic pain, recognise the related risk factors and address them early on. Physical fitness in childhood and introducing pause exercises to the hobbies of physically passive children could prevent the development of pain conditions.

The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) Study carried out by the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland generates extensive and scientifically valuable public health data on children’s lifestyle habits, health and well-being.

For further information, please contact:

Researcher, Dental Specialist Anu Vierola, University of Eastern Finland, tel. +358 40 5081082, anu.vierola (at) pp.inet.fi

Website of the PANIC Study:
http://www2.uef.fi/en/biolaaketiede/lasten-liikunta-ja-ravitsemus

Article:

Vierola A, et al. Associations of Sedentary Behavior, Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Body Fat Content With Pain Conditions in Children: The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study. J Pain. 2016 Apr 25. pii: S1526-5900(16)30019-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2016.03.011. [Epub ahead of print]

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The University of Eastern Finland, UEF, is one of the largest universities in Finland. The activities of the UEF underscore multidisciplinarity, and the university is especially strong in research related to forests and the environment, health and well-being, and new technologies and materials. The UEF offers teaching in more than 100 major subjects. In addition to the high standard of teaching, the university offers its students a modern study environment, which is under constant development. The university comprises four faculties: the Philosophical Faculty, the Faculty of Science and Forestry, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. The university’s campuses are located in the heart of beautiful eastern Finland in Joensuu, Kuopio and Savonlinna. The UEF is home to approximately 15 000 students and nearly 2 800 members of staff.

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