Children as young as 6-8 years old are more likely to suffer from pain conditions due to poor physical fitness and sedentary behavior, 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 analyzed 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 behavior 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, recognize 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.