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Lazy bones

Teenage girls spend 19 hours a day sitting or lying down - study

Girls between 15 and 18 are moving little for the vast majority of their time, a University of Limerick study has shown.

TEENAGE GIRLS SPEND almost 19 hours a day either sitting or lying down, according to a new study from the University of Limerick.

During the research, 111 girls aged between 15 and 18 wore an accelerometer device for just over a week. The device was able to tell when they were sitting down, lying down or engaging in other physical activity, and logged their position every 15 seconds.

There was little difference in the amount of time spent sedentary on weekdays and weekends. During the week the average was 18.8 hours, while on Saturdays and Sundays it was 18.9 hours.

The researchers found that participants spent longer periods sitting still during school hours. On the weekends the same amount of time was spent sedentary in total, but the patterns of activity were more varied, according to results published in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.

A number of studies have drawn links between the amount of time spent sitting or lying down and risks from conditions such as heart disease, even if the people concerned are physically active at other times.

The research was carried out at the University of Limerick by Deirdre Harrington, Kieran Dowd, Alan Bourke and Alan Donnelly.

Column: Reforming our relationship with food can start in schools>

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