Home Health Parents News Now Exercise May Help Kids Cope with Stress Exercise May Help Kids Cope with Stress By Holly Lebowitz Rossi March 11, 2013 Advertisement Save Pin FB ellipsis More Tweet Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print Comment shutterstock_130436465 30213 Finnish researchers had 258 8-year-old boys and girls wear accelerometers on their wrists for at least four days that registered the quality and quantity of their physical activity. Their parents used cotton swabs to take saliva samples at various times throughout a single day, which the researchers used to assess levels of cortisol, a hormone typically induced by physical or mental stress. There was no difference in the cortisol levels at home between children who were active and those who were less active. But when the researchers gave the children a standard psychosocial stress test at a clinic involving arithmetic and storytelling challenges, they found that those who had not engaged in physical activity had raised cortisol levels. The children who had moderate or vigorous physical activity showed relatively no rise in cortisol levels. Those results indicate a more positive physiological response to stress by children who were more active, the researchers said in a study that was published this week in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The children who were least active had the highest levels. "This study shows that children who are more active throughout their day have a better hormonal response to an acute stressful situation," said Disa Hatfield, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island, who was not involved in the study. Image: Child climbing on playground, via Shutterstock By Holly Lebowitz Rossi Save Pin FB ellipsis More Tweet Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print Comment Comments Add a Comment Be the first to comment! Advertisement Close this dialog window Add a comment Exercise May Help Kids Cope with Stress Add your comment... Cancel Submit Success! Thanks for adding your feedback.