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A Sedentary Lifestyle in Children Causes an Increased Risk of Pain

12 August 2017


Background: Healthy behavior in children is a concerning topic of discussion especially with the obesity epidemic continuing to grow in the United States. “Not only does a sedentary lifestyle have implications for physical fitness, per se, it also has profound implications for physical, cognitive and psychosocial development.”1

Methods: An exhaustive literature search was conducted using CINAHL, Clinical Key, MEDLINE-PubMed, MEDLINE-Ovid and Web of Science using the keywords: sedentary lifestyle, pain and children/ adolescence. GRADE was utilized in assessing the quality of the evidence.

Results: A total of three articles met the eligibility criteria and were included in this systematic review. The results demonstrate a correlation between a sedentary lifestyle and pain complaints in children. The first study, Vierola et al2 was an observational study that demonstrated a higher sedentary lifestyle and lower cardiorespiratory fitness results in more pain complaints in children. The second study, Brindova et al3, proved adolescents who watched television or used the computer for more than 3 hours had an increased risk of reporting multiple pain complaints as compared to children who watched television less than 2 hours per day. The third study, Lopez et al4, demonstrates boys who spent more time watching TV and using their computers had a significantly higher incidence of reporting low self-perceived health suffering from pain.

Conclusion: Studies reveal the positive association of a sedentary lifestyle and decreased health and pain complaints in children. However, additional studies need to be conducted to further evaluate this correlation.

Keywords: Sedentary lifestyle, pain, children/ adolescence


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