Blood Pressure and Obesity

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Physical activity is a crucial ingredient to children and adolescents leading a healthy life. Not only does physical activity help improve overall health and well-being, but physical activity can also help prevent future disease and health risks. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008). When children and adolescents are physically active at a younger age it helps to improve overall health and tends to then lead to a healthier lifestyle in the long run. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008) There are many factors that lead to children and adolescent’s health and well-being, one of these factors being blood pressure. Physical activity is beneficial in lowering blood pressure in normal weight and obese children. The recommendations for physical activity in children and adolescents were developed by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2008. (CITE) There are different components that make up a child’s overall physical health- “aerobic health, muscle strength, and bone strength”. (CITE HERE) Children should be physically active for at least sixty minutes or more a day to help improve their physical health. (CITE HERE) Some of the exercises that children can partake in are- hopping, skipping, jumping rope, dancing, climbing trees, lifting weights, playing active games, and playing sports. (CITE HERE) The Department of Health and Human Services says that engaging in activities like the ones listed will help to improve body composition and body weight. (CITE HERE) A healthy blood pressure is said to be dependent on certain factors- gender age and height. (CITE HERE) There are two numbers that make up a blood pressure reading. There is a systolic and diastolic number. The systolic measurement is the top number and indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts and the diastolic is the bottom number and indicates the pressure when the heart is relaxed. (CITE HERE). An average blood pressure is said to be 120/80mmhg. (CITE HERE) Blood pressure is important because it is an indicator of how hard the heart is working. When the heart is working too hard it can cause high blood pressure and that leads to other diseases and problems in the future. (CITE HERE) High blood pressure is not a condition that is symptomatic. There is no certain side effect of it, but high blood pressure damages arteries, heart and other organs. (CITE HERE) Some of the serious problems or diseases that high blood pressure can cause over a long period of time with no solution are a heart attack, heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss. (CITE HERE) Blood pressure is something that children and adolescents need to be aware of because later on in life it could greatly affect them. A study by Gately examined a children’s weight loss camp and its effects on overweight and obese children. The study focused on the effectiveness of the weight loss camp idea. (CITE HERE) One hundred and eighty five children participated in the study and there was a comparison between children who attended the camp and children who did not attend the camp. The children who participated in the camp participated in a “daily schedule of six 1-hour, skill-based, fun, physical activity sessions, moderate dietary restriction, and group-based educational sessions”. (CITE HERE) Blood pressure was taken at baseline and at the end of the study. The study found that the children who did attend the camp had a decrease in their systolic blood pressure and an increase on overall aerobic fitness. (CITE HERE) The study also showed that children who participated in the weight loss camp for a longer period of time saw greater results. (CITE HERE) This would lead to the assumption that engaging in physical activity for an extended amount of time or regularly will help to lower blood pressure in overweight children. The reason this study shows that physical activity does help in the lowering of blood pressure and improvement in overall fitness...
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